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Science. 2017 Aug 11;357(6351):596-600. doi: 10.1126/science.aan3458.

Pavlovian conditioning-induced hallucinations result from overweighting of perceptual priors.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.
2
International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA), Trieste, Italy.
3
Max Planck University College London (UCL) Centre for Computational Psychiatry and Ageing Research, London, UK.
4
Translational Neuromodeling Unit (TNU), Institute for Biomedical Engineering, University of Zurich and ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.
5
Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA. philip.corlett@yale.edu.

Abstract

Some people hear voices that others do not, but only some of those people seek treatment. Using a Pavlovian learning task, we induced conditioned hallucinations in four groups of people who differed orthogonally in their voice-hearing and treatment-seeking statuses. People who hear voices were significantly more susceptible to the effect. Using functional neuroimaging and computational modeling of perception, we identified processes that differentiated voice-hearers from non-voice-hearers and treatment-seekers from non-treatment-seekers and characterized a brain circuit that mediated the conditioned hallucinations. These data demonstrate the profound and sometimes pathological impact of top-down cognitive processes on perception and may represent an objective means to discern people with a need for treatment from those without.

PMID:
28798131
PMCID:
PMC5802347
DOI:
10.1126/science.aan3458
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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