About the mechanisms of auditory verbal hallucinations: A positron emission tomographic study

Massoud Stephane, Matthew C. Hagen, Joel T. Lee, Jonathan Uecker, Patricia J. Pardo, Michael A. Kuskowski, José V. Pardo

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    32 Scopus citations


    Objective: Auditory verbal hallucinations (AVHs) likely result from disorders, as yet unspecified, of the neural mechanisms of language. Here we examine the functional neuroanatomy of single-word reading in patients with and without a history of AVH. Method: Eighteen medicated schizophrenia patients (8 with AVH and 10 without AVH) and 12 healthy control subjects were scanned with PET 15O-water technique under 2 conditions: reading aloud English nouns and passively looking at English nouns without reading them. Results: The contrast between the 2 conditions shows higher activation in Wernicke's area during the reading condition in the patient group and a reversed laterally index for the supplementary motor area in the AVH group. Conclusions: These findings provide indications about the possible mechanisms of AVH. We suggest that the abnormal laterality of the supplementary motor area activity accounts for the failure to attribute speech generated by one's own brain to one's self and that the activation of Wernicke's area accounts for the perceptual nature (hearing) of the patient's experience.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)396-405
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience
    Issue number6
    StatePublished - Nov 2006

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Psychiatry and Mental health
    • Biological Psychiatry
    • Pharmacology (medical)


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