Passivity experiences in schizophrenia are thought to be due to a failure in a neurocognitive action self-monitoring system . Drawing on the assumption that inner speech is a form of action, a recent model of auditory verbal hallucinations has proposed that AVHs can be explained by a failure in the NASS. In this article, we offer an alternative application of the NASS to AVHs, with separate mechanisms creating the emotion of self-as-agent and other-as-agent. We defend the assumption that inner speech (...) can be considered as a form of action, and show how a number of previous criticisms of applying the NASS to AVHs can be refuted. This is achieved in part through taking a Vygotskian developmental perspective on inner speech. It is suggested that more research into the nature and development of inner speech is needed to further our understanding of AVHs. (shrink)
A resurgence of interest in inner speech as a core feature of human experience has not yet coincided with methodological progress in the empirical study of the phenomenon. The present article reports the development and psychometric validation of a novel instrument, the Varieties of Inner Speech Questionnaire , designed to assess the phenomenological properties of inner speech along dimensions of dialogicality, condensed/expanded quality, evaluative/motivational nature, and the extent to which inner speech incorporates other people’s voices. In response to findings that (...) some forms of psychopathology may relate to inner speech, anxiety, depression, and proneness to auditory and visual hallucinations were also assessed. Anxiety, but not depression, was found to be uniquely positively related to both evaluative/motivational inner speech and the presence of other voices in inner speech. Only dialogic inner speech predicted auditory hallucination-proneness, with no inner speech variables predicting levels of visual hallucinations/disturbances. Directions for future research are discussed. (shrink)
One of the leading cognitive models of auditory verbal hallucinations (AVHs) proposes such experiences result from a disturbance in the process by which inner speech is attributed to the self. Research in this area has, however, proceeded in the absence of thorough cognitive and phenomenological investigations of the nature of inner speech, against which AVHs are implicitly or explicitly defined. In this paper we begin by introducing philosophical phenomenology and highlighting its relevance to AVHs, before briefly examining the evolving literature (...) on the relation between inner experiences and AVHs. We then argue for the need for philosophical phenomenology (Phenomenology) and the traditional empirical methods of psychology for studying inner experience (phenomenology) to mutually inform each other to provide a richer and more nuanced picture of both inner experience and AVHs than either could on its own. A critical examination is undertaken of the leading model of AVHs derived from phenomenological philosophy, the ipseity disturbance model. From this we suggest issues that future work in this vein will need to consider, and examine how interdisciplinary methodologies may contribute to advances in our understanding of AVHs. Detailed suggestions are made for the direction and methodology of future work into AVHs, which we suggest should be undertaken in a context where phenomenology and physiology are both necessary, but neither sufficient. (shrink)
The proposal that there is an illusion of conscious will has been supported by findings that priming of stimulus location in a task requiring judgements of action-authorship can enhance participants’ experience of agency. We attempted to replicate findings from the ‘Wheel of Fortune’ task [Aarts, H., Custers, R., & Wegner, D. M. . On the inference of personal authorship: enhancing experienced agency by priming effect information. Consciousness and Cognition, 14, 439–458]. We also examined participants’ performance on this task in relation (...) to self-reported passivity experiences and hallucination-proneness. We found a significant effect of priming, with primes being found to increase the experience of agency. An interaction between gender and priming was also found, with priming enhancing feelings of agency in women but not in men. There were no significant correlations between levels of self-reported passivity experiences or hallucination-proneness and participants’ susceptibility to the priming effect on ratings of agency. Implications of these findings are discussed with regard to a prominent model of passivity experiences. (shrink)
The phenomenology of auditory verbal hallucinations occurring in hypnagogic and hypnopompic states has received little attention. In a sample of healthy participants, 108 participants reported H&H AVHs and answered subsequent questions on their phenomenology. AVHs in the H&H state were found to be more likely to only feature the occasional clear word than to be clear, to be more likely to be one-off voices than to be recurrent voices, to be more likely to be voices of people known to the (...) individual than unknown persons, to be more likely to talk directly to the person rather than not, and to only rarely give commands, ask questions, or to result in an interactive conversation. Their phenomenology was similar to normative AVHs in wakefulness in that the voice-hearer was usually the target of the voice, and the voice was more likely to be of a recognized person. However, H&H AVHs differed from AVHs in wakefulness in that commands and questions were rare, and there was typically no dialogical engagement with the voice. We conclude by proposing that two distinct types of H&H AVHs may exist, based on an analysis of the phenomenology of the experience, and suggest avenues for future research. (shrink)
Inner experience is proposed as a basis for self-interpretation in both children and adults, but young children's inner experience may not be comparable to our own. I consider evidence on children's attribution of inner experience, experience sampling, and the development of inner speech, concluding that Carruthers' theory should predict a developmental lag between mindreading and metacognition.
The voices and visions experienced by Emanuel Swedenborg remain a topic of much debate. The present article offers a reconsideration of these experiences in relation to changes in psychiatric practice. First, the phenomenology of Swedenborg's experiences is reviewed through an examination of his writings. The varying conceptualizations of these experiences by Swedenborg and his contemporaries, and by psychiatrists of later generations, are examined. We show how attempts by 19th- and 20th-century psychiatrists to explain Swedenborg's condition as the result of either (...) schizophrenia or epilepsy are unable to account for his experiences. We then demonstrate that the re-emergence of the 19th-century concept of `hallucinations in the sane' offers an alternative way to understand Swedenborg's experiences outside typical discourses of mental illness. Finally we argue that Swedenborg's experiences should be understood as exemplifying phenomena which we term `hallucinations without mental disorder', and investigate how conceiving of Swedenborg in this way can inform future research into the experience and clinical significance of hallucinations. (shrink)
Theory-of-mind (TOM) competence is under-specified in Carpendale & Lewis's (C&L's) account. In the neo-Vygotskian alternative outlined below, TOM development is driven by the internalisation of dialogic exchanges which preserve the triadic intentional relations of interactions within the epistemic triangle. On this view, TOM competence stems from children's ability to operate flexibly with the multiple perspectives manifested in internalised dialogue.