Auditory Percepts, Mental Images, and Hypnotic Hallucinations: Similarities and Differences in Auditory Evoked Potentials
In past research, percepts, images, and hallucinations have been shown to have similar sensory and physiological underpinnings, but different cognitive effects. In the present psychophysiological study of these sensory similarities and cognitive differences, auditory evoked potentials (AEPs) were obtained (a) while 12 select subjects mentally imaged the evoking tone as louder versus softer, and (b) while they hypnotically hallucinated the evoking tone as louder versus softer. The results of this study indicate that eidetically imaged loudness versus softness and hypnotically hallucinated loudness versus softness, like perceived loudness versus softness, affect the amplitude of early “sensory” components in the AEP. The results also indicate that imaged loudness and softness affect a later “image-monitoring” component in the left-hemisphere AEP, whereas hallucinated loudness and softness—like perceived loudness and softness—do not affect this later component.
This research presentation explores the manner in which images and hallucinations are similar to percepts, but different from each other. The first part of this presentation reviews past research indicating that vivid images and hallucinations are psychophysiologically similar to percepts. The second part reviews behavioral evidence that vivid images and hallucinations are different from each other. The final part presents new research confirming that vivid images and hallucinations are psychophysiologically different as well.
KeywordsInferior Colliculus Auditory Evoke Potential Auditory Imaging Vivid Image Hypnotic Susceptibility
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