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Front Neurosci. 2016 Jan 19;9:515. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2015.00515. eCollection 2015.

Non-invasive Brain Stimulation and Auditory Verbal Hallucinations: New Techniques and Future Directions.

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School of Psychology, University of Central Lancashire Preston, UK.
Science Laboratories, Department of Psychology, Durham University Durham, UK.
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique UMR-9193, SCA-Lab & CHU Lille, Fontan Hospital, CURE Platform, Lille University Lille, France.


Auditory verbal hallucinations (AVHs) are the experience of hearing a voice in the absence of any speaker. Results from recent attempts to treat AVHs with neurostimulation (rTMS or tDCS) to the left temporoparietal junction have not been conclusive, but suggest that it may be a promising treatment option for some individuals. Some evidence suggests that the therapeutic effect of neurostimulation on AVHs may result from modulation of cortical areas involved in the ability to monitor the source of self-generated information. Here, we provide a brief overview of cognitive models and neurostimulation paradigms associated with treatment of AVHs, and discuss techniques that could be explored in the future to improve the efficacy of treatment, including alternating current and random noise stimulation. Technical issues surrounding the use of neurostimulation as a treatment option are discussed (including methods to localize the targeted cortical area, and the state-dependent effects of brain stimulation), as are issues surrounding the acceptability of neurostimulation for adolescent populations and individuals who experience qualitatively different types of AVH.


hallucinations; neuronavigation; neurostimulation; state dependency; transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS); transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS); transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS); transcranial random noise stimulation (tRNS)

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