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The causes of auditory verbal hallucinations (AVHs) are still unclear. The evidence for 2 prominent cognitive models of AVHs, one based on inner speech, the other on intrusions from memory, is briefly reviewed. The fit of these models, as well as neurological models, to the phenomenology of AVHs is then critically examined. It is argued that only a minority of AVHs, such as those with content clearly relating to verbalizations experienced surrounding previous trauma, are consistent with cognitive AVHs-as-memories models. Similarly, it is argued that current neurological models are only phenomenologically consistent with a limited subset of AVHs. In contrast, the phenomenology of the majority of AVHs, which involve voices attempting to regulate the ongoing actions of the voice hearer, are argued to be more consistent with inner speech-based models. It is concluded that subcategorizations of AVHs may be necessary, with each underpinned by different neurocognitive mechanisms. The need to study what is termed the dynamic developmental progression of AVHs is also highlighted. Future empirical research is suggested in this area.

Citation

Simon R Jones. Do we need multiple models of auditory verbal hallucinations? Examining the phenomenological fit of cognitive and neurological models. Schizophrenia bulletin. 2010 May;36(3):566-75

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PMID: 18820262

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