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Re: Auditory hallucinations

I tried to answer this via web-based e-mail, but it all went horribly wrong!
I've been in correspondence with Olle Ollson, a nice chap in Sweden (Lund
University) whose PhD involved investigating deficiencies in auditory scene
analysis in schizophrenic patients. It occurred to me that, in this context,
auditory hallucinations amounted to, as it were, erroneous explanations for
the environment based on poor-quality primitive analysis. I also wondered
whether the evident poor performance in auditory scene analysis tasks and
the schizophrenic symptoms could be due to a common cause (rather than, for
instance, one causing the other).
The examples quoted below - especially the sleep deprivation, could simply
be temporary instantiations of the same sort of malfunction. For instance,
people who are hung over, or in the middle of withdrawal symptoms (eg from
cigarettes), very tired and so on, often report that sounds seem too loud;
actually, on questioning, they often mean that events seem too close (it's
intuitively obvious that "loud" and "close" could be conflated) - even "in
the head" - they may often feel nervous, threatened. Patients with
hyperacusis sometimes say something similar. Speculatively, these could all
reflect something common.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Al Bregman" <bregman@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <AUDITORY@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: 13 July 2005 22:16
Subject: Auditory hallucinations

> Dear Sukhi,
> I think there are two reasonably close analogs of schizophrenic
> hallucinations:
> 1.  Dreaming during normal sleep.
> 2.  The hallucinations that one can induce in awake people via
>         (a) long periods of sensory deprivation
>         (b) depriving normal people of the opportunity to dream during
> sleep
>               by waking them up whenever they start to dream.
> For some time, I have entertained the idea that the hallucinations in
> schizophrenics were a disorder of the normal dreaming mechanism.  Why
> we dream during the day?  Some mechanism must suppress it.  Maybe this
> suppression mechanism is defective in schizophrenics, or requires that
> external events engage a much higher level of interest (or arousal) before
> it kicks in.
> Best wishes,
> Al
> ---------------------------------------------
> Albert S. Bregman,
> Emeritus Professor
> Psychology Dept., McGill University
> 1205 Docteur Penfield Avenue
> Montreal, Quebec
> Canada  H3A 1B1
> Office:
>      Voice: +1 (514) 398-6103
>      Fax:     +1 (514) 398-4896
> ---------------------------------------------
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