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Musical hallucinations and musical imagery: prevalence and phenomenology in schizophrenic inpatients.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Psychopathology
Publication Date
Volume
30
Issue
4
Pages
185–190
Identifiers
PMID: 9239789
Source
Medline

Abstract

The discussion of auditory hallucinations in schizophrenia has traditionally focused on verbal auditory hallucinations, or 'voices'. Little attention, on the other hand, has been given to the phenomenon of musical hallucinations. In an effort to characterize the prevalence and phenomenology of musical hallucinations, 100 consecutive schizophrenic inpatients were examined for the presence of musical hallucinations and musical imagery. Sixteen patients responded positively, and were engaged in a more thorough interview. They were then divided into two groups: those with musical hallucinations, and those experiencing musical imagery. This determination was made based on the absence or presence, respectively, of volitional control, hypothesizing that lack of volitional control implies a true hallucinatory experience. When lack of volitional control was compared to the various other aspects of the experience, an association with religious content was demonstrated. Religious musical hallucinations also tended to be experienced as distressing, further supporting the hypothesis that the experience was hallucinatory rather than a product of volitional imagery. A selection of sample case vignettes is presented as well.

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