internal auditory hallucination

   A term used to denote an auditory hallucination experienced as originating in one's head. Phe-nomenologically, internal auditory hallucinations can be likened to the sound one experiences while using a set of well-balanced headphones. Their perceptual nature distinguishes internal auditory hallucinations from cognitive phenomena such as obsessional thoughts, thought insertion, and auditory imagery. The term internal auditory hallucination is used in opposition to the term " external auditory hallucination. The notion of the differential significance of internal versus external auditory hallucinations for the severity of the pathology, suggested by no less an authority than the German psychiatrist and philosopher Karl Jaspers (1883-1969), has now been discarded. The British psychiatrists David Copolov et al. suggest that the clarity and distinctness of auditory hallucinations have a greater impact on the 'realness' of voices than their subjective localization inside or outside the head. However, it is not unthinkable that the two types of auditory hallucination differ somewhat with regard to their neurophysiological correlates. A phe-nomenological study by the American psychiatrists Ralph Hoffman et al. found that even individuals who experience internal auditory hallucinations generally identify a specific spatial location within the head, especially near or behind an ear. This finding would seem to imply the involvement of the neural apparatus dedicated to the localization of sounds in space even in cases of so-called internal voices.
   Blom, J.D., Sommer, I.E.C. (2009). Auditory hallucinations. Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology (in press).
   Copolov, D., Trauer, T., Mackinnon, A. (2004). On the non-significance of internal versus external auditory hallucinations. Schizophrenia Research, 69, 1-6.
   Hoffman, R.E., Varanko, M., Gilmore, J., Mishara, A.L. (2008). Experiential features used by patients with schizophrenia to differentiate 'voices' from ordinary verbal thought. Psychological Medicine, 38, 1167-1176.
   Jaspers, K. (1997). General psychopathology. Volume 1. Translated by Hoenig, J., Hamilton, M.W. Baltimore, MA: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Dictionary of Hallucinations. . 2010.

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