Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Short Communication

Auditory hallucinations, network connectivity, and schizophrenia

Ralph E. Hoffman a1, Maxine Varanko a1, Thomas H. McGlashan a1 and Michelle Hampson a2
a1 Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, Yale-New Haven Psychiatric Hospital, New Haven, CT 06519
a2 Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven CT 06520-8043


Multidisciplinary studies indicate that auditory hallucinations may arise from speech perception neurocircuitry without disrupted theory of mind capacities. Computer simulations of excessive pruning in speech perception neural networks provide a model for these hallucinations and demonstrate that connectivity reductions just below a “psychotogenic threshold” enhance information processing. These data suggest a process whereby vulnerability to schizophrenia is maintained in the human population despite reproductive disadvantages of this illness.