The hallucinating brain: A review of structural and functional neuroimaging studies of hallucinations

Paul Allen*, Frank Laroi, Philip K. McGuire, Andre Aleman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

379 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Hallucinations remains one of the most intriguing phenomena in psychopathology. In the past two decades the advent of neuroimaging techniques have allowed researchers to investigate what is happening in the brain of those who experience hallucinations. In this article we review both structural and functional neuroimaging studies of patients with auditory and visual hallucinations as well as a small number of studies that have assessed cognitive processes associated with hallucinations in healthy volunteers. The current literature suggests that in addition to secondary (and occasionally primary) sensory cortices, dysfunction in prefrontal premotor, cingulate, subcortical and cerebellar regions also seem to contribute to hallucinatory experiences. Based on the findings of these studies we tentatively propose a neurocognitive model in which both bottom-up and top-down processes interact to produce these erroneous percepts. Finally, directions for future work are discussed. (c) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-191
Number of pages17
JournalNeuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Volume32
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Keywords

  • hallucinations
  • auditory
  • visual
  • schizophrenia
  • neuroimaging
  • functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRl)
  • positron emission tomography (PET)
  • auditory cortex and language
  • AUDITORY-VERBAL HALLUCINATIONS
  • SUPERIOR TEMPORAL GYRUS
  • CEREBRAL-BLOOD-FLOW
  • TRANSCRANIAL MAGNETIC STIMULATION
  • PRIMARY VISUAL-CORTEX
  • SCHIZOPHRENIC-PATIENTS
  • ALZHEIMERS-DISEASE
  • LANGUAGE LATERALIZATION
  • INNER SPEECH
  • PHYSIOLOGICAL-BASIS

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