The phenomenology of inner speech

Comparison of schizophrenia patients with auditory verbal hallucinations and healthy controls

R. Langdon, S. R. Jones, E. Connaughton, C. Fernyhough

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

58 Citations (Scopus)
48 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background. Despite the popularity of inner-speech theories of auditory verbal hallucinations (AVHs), little is known about the phenomenological qualities of inner speech in patients with schizophrenia who experience AVHs (Sz-AVHs), or how this compares to inner speech in the non-voice-hearing general population. Method. We asked Sz-AVHs (n=29) and a non-voice-hearing general population sample (n=42) a series of questions about their experiences of hearing voices, if present, and their inner speech. Results. The inner speech reported by patients and controls was found to be almost identical in all respects. Furthermore, phenomenological qualities of AVHs (e.g. second- or third-person voices) did not relate to corresponding qualities in inner speech. Conclusions. No discernable differences were found between the inner speech reported by Sz-AVHs and healthy controls. Implications for inner-speech theories of AVHs are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)655-663
Number of pages9
JournalPsychological Medicine
Volume39
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2009

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2009 Cambridge University Press. Article originally published in Psychological medicine, Volume 39, Issue 4, 655-663. The original article can be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0033291708003978.

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