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The Department of Biomedicine

BBB Seminar: Kristiina Kompus

Neural mechanisms of auditory hallucinations

Kristiina Kompus
Department of Biological and Medical Psychology, University of Bergen

Auditory verbal hallucinations (AVHs) are a subjective experience of "hearing voices" in the absence of corresponding physical stimulation in the environment. The most remarkable feature of AVHs is their perceptual quality, that is, the experience is subjectively as vivid as hearing an actual voice, as opposed to mental imagery or auditory memories. This has lead to propositions that dysregulation of the primary auditory cortex (PAC) is a crucial component of the neural mechanism of AVHs; whereas the functionality of cognitive control processes determine the degree of disruption to everyday life, possibly distinguishing between clinical and non-clinical AVHs. In this presentation, the properties of speech processing networks and frontal lobe-dependent cognitive control processes are discussed in clinical and non-clinical cases of AVHs. Findings from magnetic resonance imaging experiments regarding the functional, structural and metabolic properties of temporal and frontal lobes are discussed in the context of "perceptual model" of AVHs.

Chair: Helge Nordby , Department of Biological and Medical Psychology