An inter-subjective multi-factorial model of auditory verbal hallucinations in schizophrenia

Publication date: August 2020Source: New Ideas in Psychology, Volume 58Author(s): Giampaolo Salvatore, Paolo Ottavi, Raffaele Popolo, Giancarlo DimaggioAbstractAuditory verbal hallucinations (AVHs) are perceptive-like experiences happening without appropriate stimuli that in individuals with schizophrenia very often feature distressing contents. AVH frequently interfere with social relationships or result in dangerous behaviours. We hypothesize that in schizophrenia several vulnerability factors, especially when a subject is engaged in real or represented interpersonal transactions, lead to the appearance of AVHs, and favour their self-perpetuation over time. We analyse the different psychological factors that, according to empirical studies and clinical experience with persons with schizophrenia, seem involved in the genesis of AVHs. Several vulnerability factors appear to interact with situational ones to trigger AVHs: a) a facilitation of neural transmission from the premotor regions to the perceptual ones; b) a difficulty attuning with others, c) interpersonal schemas, provoking emotional suffering, intrusive thoughts and rumination; d) metacognitive dysfunctions. Once AVHs have appeared, further factors promote their perpetuation over time: a) cognitive factors like ruminative processing on AVHs, b) metacognitive beliefs about AVHs. An integrated theoretical model of AVHs is described and ideas for its empirical testing are suggested.
Source: New Ideas in Psychology - Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Source Type: research

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