Fluctuations in Hallucination Spectrum Experiences Co-vary with Social Defeat but not with Social Deafferentation. A 3-Week Daily Assessment Study
The social deafferentation hypothesis proposes social isolation to be a risk factor for hallucinations, whereas the social defeat hypothesis postulates that only negatively appraised experiences of social exclusion constitute a risk factor. In a community sample, we tested whether social isolation and social defeat coincide with or precede hallucination spectrum experiences (HSE; i.e. auditory hallucinations and their subclinical precursors vivid imagination, perceptual sensitivity, and intrusive thoughts). Once daily for three weeks, 75 participants answered questionnaires on social contact, social exclusion, and HSE during the last 24 h. Multilevel-regressions were calculated. Social exclusion was associated with the subclinical precursors of auditory hallucinations on the same and following day but not with auditory hallucinations as such. Thus, social exclusion coincides with and potentially triggers HSE. Further research needs to expand on these findings in ESM studies with clinical samples to test whether these findings extend to brief time-intervals and clinical hallucinations.
KeywordsSchizophrenia Psychosis like experiences Social defeat Social deafferentation Hallucinatory experiences
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
Björn Schlier, Katharina Winkler, Edo Sebastian Jaya, Tania Marie Lincoln declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
No animal studies were carried out by the authors for this article.
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