Why Do Schizophrenics Hear Voices?
2012 09 07

By Ross Pomeroy | Real Clear Science

In a way, you’re never alone. Your inner consciousness is always there to keep you company. That voice inside your head is reliably available for conversation. These intensely personal and comforting self-to-self dialogues are splayed across the humdrum of a typical day. "I think I’ll wear the blue polo to my date tonight." "Enchiladas: that’s what I want for lunch." "Oh my gosh, cute kittens!"

But what if there was a foreign voice inside your head? An entity over which you could exact no control. Wouldn’t that be the worst invasion of privacy imaginable? Wouldn’t that be disturbing?



For the majority of schizophrenics, this dreadful plight is a vexing regularity. Fortunately, schizophrenia is rare, but that’s no consolation to the 24 million people afflicted with the condition. Moreover, there is limited understanding of its underlying causes, and treatments -- often in the form of antipsychotics -- are far from perfect, presenting their own loaded plate of perturbing side effects.

This is where Baylor neuroscientist David Eagleman enters into the discussion. Widely regarded for his work on the brain’s perception of time, synesthesia, and neurolaw, Eagleman is now foraying into the study of schizophrenia. It wasn’t something he originally planned on.

Back in 2006, Eagleman and his team conducted an experiment in which subjects were simply asked to press a button. Doing so would instantly cause a nearby light bulb to blink. The researchers then added a slight tenth of a second delay between the press of the button and the light coming on and asked subjects to continue pressing the button. For the grand finale, the researchers removed the delay and watched as something completely perplexing happened. The subjects, utterly flabbergasted, insisted that the light would come on before they even pressed the button!

For Eagleman, this was an "Ah ha!" moment. Schizophrenics, he says, suffer from something called credit misattribution -- they believe that they’re not causing their own actions. What if this is because their brain’s perception of time is off, thus causing an action’s effect to seem to occur before the cause?

"You’re always generating an internal voice and listening to it... But imagine now that you got the timing wrong. So you think you heard the voice before you generated it. You would have to interpret that as somebody else’s voice," Eagleman told Science Friday host Ira Flatow.

Eagleman’s theory has some historical support. One study conducted in 1977 compared schizophrenics’ perception of time to that of non-schizophrenics. Subjects were required to work on a task until an experimenter stopped them, and then were asked to estimate the amount of time that had transpired. At judging five-second intervals -- the briefest length of time tested -- schizophrenics significantly differed from the other subjects in their estimations.

Additional research is currently underway at Eagleman’s Baylor College laboratory. If further substantiated, Eagleman believes that this theory could potentially lead to entirely new rehabilitative strategies for schizophrenia.

"Instead of pumping people full of medications, what if we could just sit them down and have them play video games that recalibrate their timing?" Eagleman proposed on Science Friday.

Such a treatment would certainly be a welcome, calming remedy to a mental disorder that’s anything but.


Read the full article at: realclearscience.com







Changing the face of Schizophrenia | CBC.ca

Keris Myrick hears voices no one else can hear. She learned to ignore them. She also learned to ignore the voices of mental health experts telling her not to expect much from life. As the CEO of a company, she’s one of many people challenging society’s perceptions of the mentally ill.

Radio Program (PopUp)








Related Articles
Psychotronic Mind-Control - Synthetic Telepathy (Video)
Scottish Rite Schizophrenia Research Program
Causal Multiplicity: The Science Behind Schizophrenia
Researchers find schizophrenia linked to parasite carried by cats
Creative minds "mimic schizophrenia"
Dopamine System in Highly Creative People Similar to That Seen in Schizophrenics
Synesthesia - Wikipedia
Synesthesia May Explain Healers Claims of Seeing People’s ’Aura’
Synesthesia (Video)
David Eagleman - Synesthesia, Unconscious Brain, and Tales from the Afterlives
Synchromusicology, Chromotherapy, Synesthesia, and the Aural Current of Electric Audiomancy (Video)
Greyhound Bus killer was "chosen by God to save people from an alien attack"


Latest News from our Front Page

The Aeon of Horus is Ending and the Elites are Nervous as their Icons are Dying
2014 04 18
I predict there is going to be a huge resurgence of interest in European indigenous spiritual traditions from Norse to Celtic/Gaelic to Slavic and so on. Millions of Europeans are going to realise that we are the victims of Christianity and New Age garbage. Their bastardised Kabbalah, the psychic force used by Crowley and the elites to cement his Aeon ...
Easter - Christian or Pagan?
2014 04 18
From: truthbeknown.com Contrary to popular belief, Easter does not represent the "historical" crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In reality, the gospel tale reflects the annual "crossification" of the sun through the vernal equinox (Spring), at which time the sun is "resurrected," as the day begins to become longer than the night. Rather than being a "Christian" holiday, Easter celebrations date back ...
Man-Made Blood Might Be Used in Transfusions by 2016
2014 04 18
Researchers in the U.K. have created the first man-made red blood cells of high enough quality to be introduced into the human body The premise of the HBO show and book series True Blood revolves around a technological breakthrough: scientists figure out how to synthesize artificial human blood, which, as an ample new source of non-human food, allows vampires to "come ...
The Trials of the Cherokee Were Reflected In Their Skulls
2014 04 18
Researchers from North Carolina State University and the University of Tennessee have found that environmental stressors – from the Trail of Tears to the Civil War – led to significant changes in the shape of skulls in the eastern and western bands of the Cherokee people. The findings highlight the role of environmental factors in shaping our physical characteristics. ...
Our Fears May Be Shaped by Ancestral Trauma
2014 04 18
Last December, an unsettling Nature Neuroscience study found that mice who were taught to associate the smell of cherry blossoms with pain produced offspring who feared the smell of cherry blossoms, even if they had never been exposed to it before. We knew that the process was epigenetic—that it was not hard-wired in the permanent genetic structure of the mouse—but ...
More News »