Speech illusions and working memory performance in non-clinical psychosis

Tina Gupta, Jordan E. DeVylder, Randy P. Auerbach, Jason Schiffman, Vijay A. Mittal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Psychotic disorders are characterized by auditory verbal hallucinations (AVHs), and research has shown that AVHs are linked to deficits in working memory. Our understanding of AVHs across the psychosis continuum is limited. To date, little research has tested whether hallucination proneness (HP) is linked with abnormalities on experimental multispeaker babble tasks. Few investigations have been conducted to determine how task performance might be linked to cognitive functioning. The objective of the current study is to better understand this empirical gap. A total of 70 adults (30 healthy controls and 40 HP individuals) were administered an experimental task in which they listened to multispeaker babble and were instructed to report any words or chains of consecutive words (CCWs) perceived. Participants also were administered nonverbal and verbal working memory tasks. Findings revealed that relative to the control group, the HP individuals perceived more words and longer CCWs during the task. While there were no significant differences in working memory tasks between the HP and control groups, longer CCW's were associated with decreased verbal working memory scores in the HP group. AVH proneness may occur across a continuum of psychosis and may be linked with other theoretically relevant cognitive vulnerability factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)391-395
Number of pages5
JournalSchizophrenia Research
StatePublished - May 2018


  • Cognition
  • Multispeaker babble
  • NCP
  • Psychosis
  • Speech illusions
  • Working memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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