Anyone Can Be Trained to Hallucinate


From Flipboard: In a recent study on auditory hallucinations, all participants — not just those who had been diagnosed with psychosis — experienced conditioned hallucinations. The study corroborates the idea that psychosis exists as a spectrum, not necessarily a dichotomy.

“…authors Phil Corlett and Al Powers began by conditioning participants to hear a tone when they were shown a checkerboard pattern. Then they slowly removed the actual sound and asked people when they heard it. Participants who regularly heard voices were five times more likely to say they heard a tone when there wasn’t one, and they were 25-30% more confident in their choice. But they weren’t alone in hearing things. In fact, all of the participants experienced some induced hallucinations during the experiment.

‘I did not expect that people who did not have a psychotic illness would perform so similarly to people who did hear voices,’ Powers says. ‘They were very, very alike.'”

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  1. Yes…this was a really interesting article potentially offering some very valuable insights. It has taken me over 12 years to better understand the origins and content of my one and only fully blown “psychosis”, and in doing so I have come to understand better how I “work”, how I react, how I relate to situations and people, especially when under stress. That means I am better able to modulate my sensitivities and negotiate life more creatively and effectively.

    The shrinks who drove me into psychosis put me on diabolically evil drugs and told me I’d be in and out of the “revolving door” of psych wards for the rest of my life, taking all hope and agency from me….or at least trying to.

    It’s now over seven years since I used any of their nasty drugs, and around 10 years since I had “anti psychotics”.

    Such studies as this, when combined with what we know about psycho-social factors, trauma and attachment might well ring psychiatric druggings’ death knell….and hopefully it’ll take psychiatry with it.

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