The cognitive neuropsychiatry of auditory verbal hallucinations: an overview

Cogn Neuropsychiatry. 2004 Feb-May;9(1-2):107-23. doi: 10.1080/13546800344000183.


Introduction: The cognitive neuropsychiatric approach to auditory verbal hallucinations (AVHs) attempts to explain the phenomena in cognitive or information-processing terms and ultimately their brain bases.

Methods: A narrative review of the literature and an overview of this special issue of Cognitive Neuropsychiatry.

Results: First, an operational definition of AVHs is offered. Next, clues to etiology are derived from a detailed consideration of the clinical phenomenology of "voices", their form and content. Functional and structural neuroimaging studies suggest the importance of left-side language areas in the generation/perception of AVHs.

Conclusions: Existing cognitive neuropsychiatric models provide a useful framework for the understanding of AVHs. However, data need to be applied more specifically to these models so that they may be refined.