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The interaction between auditory imagery vividness and auditory perception, and its application to hallucination proneness

Gray, Gemma Ruth (2010)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

Auditory imagery is commonly used in everyday life, yet the majority of imagery research has focused on the visual domain. This thesis determined some of the mediators of auditory imagery vividness and investigated how vividness affects the interaction between imagery and perception (Chapter 2). In addition, an fMRI study investigated the neural correlates of auditory imagery and perception (Chapter 3). The final empirical chapters assessed the interaction between auditory imagery vividness and hallucination proneness, and the influence of hallucination proneness on the interaction between imagery and perception (Chapters 4, 5 and 6). Imagery vividness differs according to sound category and familiarity and is affected by cues to imagine sounds. Imagery and perception can also interact to influence the detection of sounds in noise, and are processed by partially overlapping regions of the auditory cortex. Studies into hallucination proneness revealed little differences between high and low hallucination proneness participants when detecting sounds in noise. When stimuli had an emotional connotation (i.e. auditorily presented emotional words) high and low hallucination prone participants differed only in their memory recall rate, but not in their vividness ratings, or in their sound detection performance for such words. Taken together, this thesis demonstrates that auditory imagery vividness is a robust measure that is affected by a range of cognitive factors. Vividness can influence detection of sounds in noise and has measurable affects on neural activation. These studies provide evidence for the theory that imagery and perception rely on overlapping areas of processing. The thesis also finds little association between hallucination proneness and auditory imagery vividness or sound detection performance. This suggests that factors other than auditory imagery are associated with proneness to hallucination-like experiences.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Humphreys, Glyn W.
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
Department:School of Psychology
Subjects:BF Psychology
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:1158
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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