White noise speech illusion and psychosis expression: An experimental investigation of psychosis liability

Lotta-Katrin Pries, Sinan Guloksuz, Claudia Menne-Lothmann, Jeroen Decoster, Ruud van Winkel, Dina Collip, Philippe Delespaul, Marc De Hert, Catherine Derom, Evert Thiery, Nele Jacobs, Marieke Wichers, Claudia J. P. Simons, Bart P. F. Rutten, Jim van Os*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Background: An association between white noise speech illusion and psychotic symptoms has been reported in patients and their relatives. This supports the theory that bottom-up and top-down perceptual processes are involved in the mechanisms underlying perceptual abnormalities. However, findings in nonclinical populations have been conflicting.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to examine the association between white noise speech illusion and subclinical expression of psychotic symptoms in a nonclinical sample. Findings were compared to previous results to investigate potential methodology dependent differences.

Methods: In a general population adolescent and young adult twin sample (n = 704), the association between white noise speech illusion and subclinical psychotic experiences, using the Structured Interview for Schizotypy-Revised (SIS-R) and the Community Assessment of Psychic Experiences (CAPE), was analyzed using multilevel logistic regression analyses.

Results: Perception of any white noise speech illusion was not associated with either positive or negative schizotypy in the general population twin sample, using the method by Galdos et al. (2011) (positive: ORadjusted: 0.82, 95% CI: 0.6-1.12, p = 0.217; negative: ORadjusted: 0.75, 95% CI: 0.56-1.02, p = 0.065) and the method by Catalan et al. (2014) (positive: ORadjusted: 1.11, 95% CI: 0.79-1.57, p = 0.557). No association was found between CAPE scores and speech illusion (ORadjusted: 1.25, 95% CI: 0.88-1.79, p = 0.220). For the Catalan et al. (2014) but not the Galdos et al. (2011) method, a negative association was apparent between positive schizotypy and speech illusion with positive or negative affective valence (ORadjusted: 0.44, 95% CI: 0.24-0.81, p = 0.008).

Conclusion: Contrary to findings in clinical populations, white noise speech illusion may not be associated with psychosis proneness in nonclinical populations.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0183695
Number of pages10
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 23-Aug-2017



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