Mental imagery and perception in hallucination-prone individuals

J Nerv Ment Dis. 2000 Dec;188(12):830-6. doi: 10.1097/00005053-200012000-00007.


College students screened for hallucination-proneness using the Launay-Slade Hallucination Scale (LSHS) were compared on measures of self-report vividness of imagery and on behavioral measures of imagery and perception (visual and auditory). Specifically, we tested the hypothesis whether hallucination-prone individuals would show smaller differences between imagery and perception performance, which may be indicative of increased sensory characteristics of mental images. We replicated earlier findings of higher self-report imagery ratings in the high hallucination-prone group. However, the two groups did not differ on five of six behavioral imagery-perception comparisons. On one visual task, hallucination-proneness was associated with larger imagery-perception differences. Our results reveal a dissociation between the level of subjective experience and the information processing level. Although vividness of mental images may be subjectively associated with mild hallucinatory experiences, we suggest that cognitive processes associated with reality discrimination rather than increased perceptual characteristics of mental images may play a role at the information processing level.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Auditory Perception
  • Hallucinations / diagnosis*
  • Hallucinations / psychology
  • Humans
  • Imagination
  • Personality Inventory / statistics & numerical data
  • Reality Testing
  • Visual Perception