Traitement cognitif du contenu verbal halluciné: Tâche de décision lexicale

Translated title of the contribution: Cognitive treatment of hallucinatory verbal content: The lexical decision task

Lahcen Ait Bentaleb, Emmanuel Stip, Mario Beauregard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The psychopathology of auditory verbal hallucinations continues to benefit from a productive experimental and theoretical field of research. The hypothesis of an interior discourse that the hallucinated subject does not recognize as coming from himself, and that of an aberrant activity which disturbs the primary auditory region as an explanation for the development of auditory hallucinations are the two most examined hypotheses at present. In most cases, the verbal content of the auditory hallucinations remains the same from one psychotic episode to another, even if the two episodes are separated by a long period of remission. We advance the hypothesis that the verbal content of auditory hallucinations remains present at an infraclinical level, even during those periods of total remission from hallucinations and that it could be rapidly reactivated during events that are stressful to the subject. We also suggest that the two psychopathological structures proposed above preferentially apply to this specific verbal content. In this study, we have used a lexical decision task to test this hypothesis. The results have shown that even during a period of total remission, the patients recognize more rapidly the words they heard when they were in a hallucinatory state than those which were never included in their hallucinations. This finding demonstrates that there is a possibility that the hallucinatory material may persist at an infraclinical level, even during periods of remission. At the same time, it also raises the possibility of there being a specific lexicon for hallucinatory words.

Translated title of the contributionCognitive treatment of hallucinatory verbal content: The lexical decision task
Original languageFrench
Pages (from-to)371-380
Number of pages10
JournalEvolution Psychiatrique
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Cognition
  • Hallucinations
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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