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Inducing auditory hallucinations in a lab surroundings with out utilizing medication

Job block design. The block began with 30 s of sensorimotor stimulation, which was adopted by a simultaneous voice detection process. Whereas manipulating the robotic machine, members had been listening to bursts of pink noise and had been instructed to report whether or not they heard a voice within the noise. Out of 63 trials, 45 contained a voice introduced on the listening to threshold. Inside a block, the voices both belonged to a participant (self) or to a stranger (different). Credit score: Psychological Medication (2023). DOI: 10.1017/S0033291723002222

A group of neuroscientists and psychologists at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, working with a colleague from College Savoie Mont Blanc, CNRS, LPNC, has discovered that it’s doable to induce auditory hallucinations in mentally wholesome folks with out utilizing medication.

Of their examine, reported within the journal Psychological Medication, the group carried out experiments by which they robotically induced auditory–verbal hallucinations in volunteers.

A number of years in the past, members of the identical group discovered that it was doable to induce a type of sensory hallucination in volunteers utilizing a push-button machine. In these experiments, volunteers had been requested to take a seat in a chair and push a button—as soon as they did so, after a slight pause, a small, finger-sized rod was pushed gently towards their again.

After present process a number of classes, the volunteers started to really feel as if there was somebody standing behind them. The analysis group advised the response was on account of a disconnect between their motion (pushing a button) and the time-lapsed sensation they skilled. On this new effort, the researchers used the identical equipment to conjure auditory hallucinations in volunteers.

On this new examine, 48 volunteers sat in a chair and pushed a button, as within the first experiments. As soon as once more, this resulted in a tiny poke within the again—however this time, the analysis group various the delay between the button push and the jab. As soon as once more, the volunteers started to really feel a presence behind them. On this experiment, the researchers additionally added headphones that performed a delicate type of white noise. As well as, a number of the recordings randomly performed samples of the volunteers’ personal voices or samples of another person’s voice. In all classes, every volunteer was requested in the event that they heard a voice coming from the headphones.

The researchers discovered that when a volunteer started to really feel a presence behind them, they often started to listen to voices (that weren’t there) coming by means of the headphones. Their brains had been making up a voice to go along with the “ghost” standing behind them—additionally they discovered it was extra frequent if they’d heard another person’s voice coming by means of the headphones first.

The analysis group additionally discovered that a number of the volunteers who skilled the poke within the again with out a time lag, and thus didn’t really feel the presence behind them, typically additionally heard voices that weren’t there—however provided that they’d heard their very own voices coming by means of the headphones first.

Extra info:
Pavo Orepic et al, Robotically-induced auditory-verbal hallucinations: combining self-monitoring and robust perceptual priors, Psychological Medication (2023). DOI: 10.1017/S0033291723002222

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