Paranoid delusions and threatening hallucinations: A prospective study of sleep paralysis experiences☆

Consciousness and Cognition 16 (4):959-974 (2007)
Previously we reported a three-factor structure for hallucinations accompanying sleep paralysis . These earlier analyses were, however, based on retrospective accounts. In a prospective study, 383 individuals reported individual episodes online providing further evidence for the three-factor structure as well as clearer conceptually meaningful relations among factors than retrospective studies. In addition, reports of individual episodes permitted a more fine-grained analysis of the internal structure of factors to assess predictions based on the hypothesis that a sensed or felt presence is a core experience affecting other SP hallucinations. Results were generally consistent with this hypothesis. In particular, associations among, and temporal stability of, sensory hallucinations were largely explained by their common association with FP. The findings are consistent with REM initiation of a threat activated vigilance system with pervasive effects on the SP experience and suggest a potential model for the thematic organization of nightmares and dreams more generally
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DOI 10.1016/j.concog.2007.01.002
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