Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary

Visual hallucinations, attention, and neural circuitry: Perspectives from schizophrenia research

Kevin M. Spencer a1 and Robert W. McCarley a1
a1 Department of Psychiatry, 116A, Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System; Harvard Medical School, Brockton, MA 02301


We tested Collerton et al.'s model of visual hallucinations by re-examining a data set for correlations between visual hallucinations and measures of attentional function in schizophrenia patients. These data did not support their model. We suggest that cortical hyperexcitability plays an important role in hallucinations, and propose an alternative model that links evidence for cortical hyperexcitability with abnormal neural dynamics.