Alderson-Day, Ben and Moffatt, Jamie and Lima, César F and Krishnan, Saloni and Fernyhough, Charles and Scott, Sophie K and Denton, Sophie and Leong, Ivy Yi Ting and Oncel, Alena D and Wu, Yu-Lin and Gurbuz, Zehra and Evans, Samuel (2022) 'Susceptibility to auditory hallucinations is associated with spontaneous but not directed modulation of top-down expectations for speech.', Neuroscience of Consciousness, 2022 (1). niac002.
Auditory verbal hallucinations (AVHs)—or hearing voices—occur in clinical and non-clinical populations, but their mechanisms remain unclear. Predictive processing models of psychosis have proposed that hallucinations arise from an over-weighting of prior expectations in perception. It is unknown, however, whether this reflects (i) a sensitivity to explicit modulation of prior knowledge or (ii) a pre-existing tendency to spontaneously use such knowledge in ambiguous contexts. Four experiments were conducted to examine this question in healthy participants listening to ambiguous speech stimuli. In experiments 1a (n = 60) and 1b (n = 60), participants discriminated intelligible and unintelligible sine-wave speech before and after exposure to the original language templates (i.e. a modulation of expectation). No relationship was observed between top-down modulation and two common measures of hallucination-proneness. Experiment 2 (n = 99) confirmed this pattern with a different stimulus—sine-vocoded speech (SVS)—that was designed to minimize ceiling effects in discrimination and more closely model previous top-down effects reported in psychosis. In Experiment 3 (n = 134), participants were exposed to SVS without prior knowledge that it contained speech (i.e. naïve listening). AVH-proneness significantly predicted both pre-exposure identification of speech and successful recall for words hidden in SVS, indicating that participants could actually decode the hidden signal spontaneously. Altogether, these findings support a pre-existing tendency to spontaneously draw upon prior knowledge in healthy people prone to AVH, rather than a sensitivity to temporary modulations of expectation. We propose a model of clinical and non-clinical hallucinations, across auditory and visual modalities, with testable predictions for future research.
|Full text:||(VoR) Version of Record|
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
Download PDF (Advance Online Version ) (1342Kb)
|Publisher Web site:||https://doi.org/10.1093/nc/niac002|
|Publisher statement:||© The Author(s) 2022. Published by Oxford University Press. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.|
|Date accepted:||13 January 2022|
|Date deposited:||30 June 2022|
|Date of first online publication:||01 February 2022|
|Date first made open access:||30 June 2022|
Save or Share this output
|Look up in GoogleScholar|