Thursday, March 29, 2007

Auditory Hallucinations in Schizophrenia(devided attention)/an Insight

Two friends who have recovered from Schizophrenia have given their input about auditory hallucinations and as Stefan is from sweden, his english may be little odd but i hope some scientists will make use of this.

, loreall p wrote:
Stefan- Ok, I highlighted all the stuff I don't fully unerstand ingreen. I hightlighted the stuff I really umderstand, and stood outto me also in blue. I highlighted the stuff in red cause I'm REALLYinterested in what you've found. The stuff in purple, I can also do,but I have found it is because my full attention is on somethingelse, like you say. What is corollary disgarge? I really think that your on to something, with the perception thearipy. I have my owntheory, I feel that, ALL human beings have heard their very own thoughts in a crowded room with many other human voices, ya know thatfamilair saying, " I can't hear myself think in here!",well I feelthat they are doing JUST THIS. When I think about it I do rememberhearing my own thoughts amongst the other voices of a crowded roombefore I ever heard any voices, their own thoughts are so loud tothem that they just don't notice that they heard them out loud! Thisis something that can be proved. Nobody, no docter, no researcher is ever going to look into this, breaking thewhole thing down as you have, no-one. I'm pleading that youmeditate, go running or something, that you can look into thisfurther... You are on to something! And you'r conclution isprovokingly interesting to me. If I understand correctly, you arereally pointing out in a thourough way that we must multitask inorder to percieve of a voice. You are so on to something that couldhelp alot of people, and I can't wait to hear from you. A smartdocter WILL listen, so if a couple shake their heads at you, move onwithout getting down. -Loreal-----
Original Message ----From: stefan andersson To: Divided attention "theory" about auditoryhallucinations...I´m considering to write to a scientist about a "theory" of mine, butI´m not used to express myself in english and I wonder if it´spossible to understand this. (I think that some of my observations is what happens when thebrain can't simultaneously give full attention to both verbalthinking and an external or internal sound which substitute the vokalof the inner voice.) "I would like to share some of my experience of auditory hallucinations and wonder if you could comment on this. I come from Sweden and was diagnosed whith paronoid schizophrenia seven yearsago. I have been hearing voices most of the time and when it was most severe I heard all my thoughts. That is I heard voices that where experienced as alien as well as my own voice (thoughts spoken outloud). The latter phenomenon has enabeld a better understanding of what is going on. For instance I could listen to a smooth sound of low volume(comming from the suroundings or recorded to ensure that there were no changes in volume) and notice that my focus on the sound was enhanced when my inner voice articulated a single vokal sound. The same thing did not happen when I listened to the sound and used my inner voice to articulate a letter producing a single stopp sound or consonante. Still strangely this sounds are incorporated in the perceived voice when combiend with vocal sounds. The consequence of that my attention was guided by all the vokal sounds of speech was that the sound no longer was perceived as smooth. Instead it was perceived with the same chages of volume that a distante voice of the real world would produce and what more if I imagined a female voice as my own I attended a diffrent sound that could match such a voice. What happens is that the vocals of my inner voice is substituted by an external sound which like when the voice is alien produces a concret sensoric sound image. The simplest explanation is that the vokal of my innervoice i used to guide attention in the same way that a memory of a tone enabels perception of the same tone at a lower volume than otherwise would be the case. When listening I also noticed a diffrence in attention between thoughts that were alien and other thoughts that were perceived as my own. It came clear to me that I gave more attention to a sound that was transformed into an alien voice than to a sound that made it possible to hear what was perceived as my own thoughts and if it´s true it doesn´t differ from what you would expect. I mean off course you pay more attention to what you hear if you think you recieve importante imformation than when you know what´s comming. Actually acouple of times I could change my own voice into an alien one by attending more to a sound, but only if it was not smooth. Manyobservations, also with recorded sounds, confirmed that the volume of the sound had to change like the vokal of a real voice if it wereto be percieved as alien. As described my own voice was synkronised with the sound that was interpreted by attention modification and when it comes to the alien voice the vocals is also synkronised by being triggerd when the volume of the sound makes at short change to a higher volume. To be more precise you have to include other speech sounds and the changes in volume actually triggers syllable by syllable into words and sentences. To make the syncronisation of the vocal of an alien voice with a changing sound possible I concluded that a combination of attention modification and tiggering is needed. My own thoughts that were spoken out loud were only disturbed when they were perceived as alien. In the beginning almost all of these sentences were abrupted and later my brain seemed to adust to this by thinking in shorter sentenses or sometimes even single words. The explanation why some senteses were abrupted came to me by paying even more attention to the sound that was interpreted and percieved as an alien voice. The result was that Icould intentionally end a sentense that without my control otherwise probably would have continued with some more words. If you do this on purpus you end up hearing the sound behinde the voice which is not the case when attention is hightend automatically. This none intended increase in attention that suposingly lays behind the ending of the sentence often follows by an imediate shift of attention to another more perifer sound that give rise to a new voice and so on.(very hard to cope when it´s like that) When the thoughts take the form of a new voice it often makes ajump and changes direction and maybe some clues to wy certain disturbances in verbal thinking sometimes occure in the "schizophrenic brain" could be understod by shifts in or hightend attention. My conclution is that divided attention explains why it is only possibly to interpret periferal sounds. This conclution could also give a possible answer to wy my thoughts become alien if the awareness of the imagined formation of the words included in normal verbal thinking competes with the sound because of the limited attentional span that is so obvious in divided attention tasks. My experience also confirms that some awareness of the imagined formation of the words is nessesary to control a thought and to perceive it as a result of ones own actions. I actualy think this is a more thorough explanation than corollary discharge.( I mean do they know for surewy corollary disgarge doesn´t work) At least it´s easier to understand "a divided attention theory". So far I have been talking about my understanding of interpretations of external sounds, but I wouldn´t be suprised if voices without an external link could be understod by applaying the same ideas like divided attention etc. To me auditory hallucinations come very close to auditory illusions common in speach perception. They arise when it is hard to hear the spoken words and fragments of none verbal sounds is nessesary to enabel the perceptual restoration to occure. (I wonder if a better understanding of speach perception, maybe another version of the motor theory of speach perception, might cast some light over auditory hallucinations. ) Many of my friends chare the experience that what is considerd to be auditory hallucinations sometimes include interpretations of external sounds. (The phenomenon EVP futher confirms the abillity ofthe human brain to interpret "white noise" when it expect to hear certain words) The state I was in earlier lasted a couple of years and made it possible to make very detaild observations. This it not possible anymore but I still blieve that my observations are valid. I now understand that it could be difficulte to verify some of my observaytions, but still I hope that somebody would give it a try.
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