The characteristic features of auditory verbal hallucinations in clinical and nonclinical groups: state-of-the-art overview and future directions

Schizophr Bull. 2012 Jun;38(4):724-33. doi: 10.1093/schbul/sbs061. Epub 2012 Apr 12.


Despite a growing interest in auditory verbal hallucinations (AVHs) in different clinical and nonclinical groups, the phenomenological characteristics of such experiences have not yet been reviewed and contrasted, limiting our understanding of these phenomena on multiple empirical, theoretical, and clinical levels. We look at some of the most prominent descriptive features of AVHs in schizophrenia (SZ). These are then examined in clinical conditions including substance abuse, Parkinson's disease, epilepsy, dementia, late-onset SZ, mood disorders, borderline personality disorder, hearing impairment, and dissociative disorders. The phenomenological changes linked to AVHs in prepsychotic stages are also outlined, together with a review of AVHs in healthy persons. A discussion of key issues and future research directions concludes the review.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Borderline Personality Disorder / complications
  • Dementia / complications
  • Dissociative Disorders / complications
  • Epilepsy / complications
  • Hallucinations / etiology
  • Hallucinations / physiopathology*
  • Hearing Loss / complications
  • Humans
  • Mood Disorders / complications
  • Parkinson Disease / complications
  • Prodromal Symptoms
  • Schizophrenia / complications*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / complications