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musical hallucinations

A number of researchers have indeed suggested that musical
hallucinations constitute the auditory equivalent of the Charles
Bonnet syndrome, since they are so frequently associated with hearing
loss. However, they also occur in people who have no hearing loss, so
this can only be part of the picture. It may account for a subset of
the cases, though.


Diana Deutsch

There is a type of visual hallucination that occurs in
neuropsychiatrically normal individuals that is remarkable because it is
like normal seeing, but the detail can be greater and have a bizarre
character, sometimes even amusing. These hallucinations are not under
voluntary control and when they occur in those with deteriorating visual
ability it is described as the Charles Bonnet syndrome. Imaging studies
show that the visual association cortex is active. It might be that the
imagery mechanism in this case is providing a 'realistic' version. Does
the process here have any relevance to the observations so far on
musical hallucination?.

Paul Satchell

Diana Deutsch
Professor of Psychology
Department of Psychology
University of California, San Diego
La Jolla, CA 92093, USA

858-453-1558 (tel)
858-453-4763 (fax)