Voices in schizophrenia a normal linguistic experience


The voices heard by people with schizophrenia may simply be thoughts perceived as sound, according to a new Swinburne study.

As many as eight in 10 schizophrenia sufferers hear voices; sometimes sporadically, sometimes chronically.

Auditory hallucinations also affect people with bipolar disorder, depression, borderline personality disorder, and even people with no other manifestations of mental illness.

Professor Susan Rossell, a cognitive neuropsychologist at Swinburne University of Technology, is using powerful new imaging technology to study why some people hear voices and what can be done to help them manage it.

One insight from her work is that voice-hearing appears to be an abnormal experience of a very normal human phenomenon: internal self-talk.

“We all have internal dialogue but we can choose to listen to our thoughts or not to listen to our thoughts,” Professor Rossell says.

Her previous work has shown that this internal dialogue activates the same regions of the brain — the language processing centres — as when someone real is talking to us.

Most people tune out this internal voice, along with all the other sounds we are constantly exposed to. But this ‘attention inhibition switch’ is what Professor Rossell thinks might be malfunctioning in conditions such as schizophrenia.

“We think people who hear voices are not able to correctly filter out the noise in the world around them and included in that noise is their own internal dialogue,” she says.

“When we worked out that hearing voices was just a normal linguistic experience, it was incredibly relieving for the sufferers because we were able to tell our patients that this is part of normal language.”



My voices speak to me in Spanish or my thoughts do. I think they’re internal voices my dr calls them thoughts


My doc calls them auditory hallucinations


Even if you hear them inside your head?


Yes. I told him I had internal voices, and he interrupted me and said they are auditory hallucinations


Voices in schizophrenia may come from inside, outside or objects


Hmm :unamused: 15151515151


I ask a lot of people about the voices they hear in their heads and almost everyone says they hear voices in their heads. When I try to pin them down on what they hear they can almost never explain it to me. They are talking in their head to themselves. I talk in my head to other people and it comes from an different place in my head. It seems pretty close to normal. Now I do have some voices that come from the outside that don’t seem normal and they try to compel me to do things, I consider that sz. That’s not a “normal linguistic experience” for a voice to come from outside and tell you to take a bottle of pills or cut yourself


Auditory hallucinations also affect people with bipolar disorder, depression, borderline personality disorder, and even people with no other manifestations of mental illness.

Even people with no other manifestations of mental illness they say. I think i would get a new diagnoses if i went to a different pdoc. My delusions are gone and were only present bcus i believed in the supernatural rather than mental illness. All of my other symptoms like the paranoia and delusions were because i simply thought my voices were actually what they said they were. Idk there gone now for the most part thats all that really matters…


I still have a few voices now and then but usually when there is a lot of random background noise. Lately, whenever I go to a local large warehouse store I often hear my wife’s voice say “Hey hon” within the background chatter even when she is nowhere nearby.


I think that the so called “researchers” are all wrong on this one. I am definitely not mumbling to myself when I hear mumbling auditory hallucinations. I look in the mirror and my lips are not moving. They are dead wrong on this one.


Subvocalisation is supposedly involved .


Without doubt,What you said are things facts,but the question:
How can you describe a verbal-audible thoughts phenomenon, that changing the mental perception process to an auditory-phonetic phenomenon ?
How can you explain a new nature of verbal phenomenon for people that they are not ear witness for the phonetic material ? they do not know what it is - mainly !


I dont think I hear voices. I have a lot of thoughts sometimes. I understand and perceive them. I hear something but no noise and they are internal. A lot of my thoughts are irrational and cause anxiety.


Do you know Spanish?


One of the things that ticks me off badly is when someone who has never had a genuine auditory hallucination in their life tells me how they “have a little voice also” that tells them awful things and then tell me how they deal with it. As if our problems are the same.

No, you don’t have a little voice, you only understand the concept as metaphor because you’ve never hallucinated. I’ve been on both ends of this one in my lifetime. I wish they wouldn’t claim to hear or talk to a voice when they are not actually hallucinating.


I have internal and external voices but mostly internal. I know them to be voices because they aren’t in my voice and I cannot control or have any influence over what they say. I also hear mechanical sounds. My internal voices appear to originate from outside my body. Like they are being beamed into my brain from someone or something else. Sometimes the voices are just background noise, quiet and not too interfering (This is usually what it is like now that I’m on meds) but sometimes they are loud and all consuming. All I can do then is go back to bed, take an extra AP and wait it out.


I don’t hear voices and this one really ticks me off as well. I also hate how they use voice hearing as a metaphor for thinking about yourself in music and movies. I think it’s a dumb and offensive cliché.


Yes I know Spanish. I’m not fluent anymore but I understand what the voices say to me


To know the source of the verbal thoughts (what you call the voices),when you hear the voice coming from the outside, close your ears by your fingers,you will hear the voices inside your head/mind
If you are under the water or on the moon (no air),you will hear the voices