Auditory hallucinations from silence
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Cogn Neuropsychiatry. 2009 Jan;14(1):1-10. doi: 10.1080/13546800802643590. Selective auditory attention and silence elicit auditory hallucination in a nonclinical sample. Knobel KA, Sanchez TG.
INTRODUCTION: Several investigations have shown that the occurrence of auditory hallucinations (AH) is not restricted to neuropsychiatric patients. The aim of this study is to analyse the effect of attention and sustained silence on the emergence of AH in a nonclinical sample.
METHODS: Sitting in a silent sound booth, 66 adults were studied under different attention demands and then where asked about their auditory perception.
RESULTS: While performing a Hanoi Tower in silence, 10.6% of the individuals had hallucination-like perceptions (music, voices, and others). This rate decreased to 6.0% during a visual attention task, but highly increased to 36.4% during auditory attention.
CONCLUSIONS: Auditory hallucinations may occur in a nonclinical population in a silent environment. Concomitant auditory attention increases both the quantity and the quality of those perceptions.