The Role of Memory Retrieval and Emotional Salience in the Emergence of Auditory Hallucinations



A number of cognitive models over the last 30 years have been put ­forward to explain auditory verbal hallucinations (AVHs). According to one of the most popular, AVHs are the result of fragmented, intrusive, unintentional memory retrieval. This has been supported by a number of lines of evidence, including phenomenological descriptions of the voices, neuroimaging data during voice hearing that equates to memory recall, problems with source memory and failures to inhibit irrelevant information. These data will be critically discussed, with future lines of enquiry highlighted as relevant. In addition, AVHs are known to be emotive in nature, leading to distress and disability for the voice hearer. Research on cognitive models of AVH has emphasised how affective information or emotional salience exacerbates abnormal patterns of responding, and that emotional information might be considering a triggering factor in the experience of AVH; where relevant these data will also be reviewed.


Schizophrenia Patient Memory Retrieval Source Memory Primary Auditory Cortex Auditory Memory 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Auditory verbal hallucinations




Medial temporal lobe


Primary auditory cortex


Repeated continuous recognition task


Secondary auditory cortex


Spatial independent component analysis


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Brain and Psychological Sciences Research CentreSwinburne University of TechnologyMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Cognitive Neuropsychology LabMonash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre (MAPrc)MelbourneAustralia

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