Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 42, Issue 1, pp 92–102 | Cite as

Fluctuations in Hallucination Spectrum Experiences Co-vary with Social Defeat but not with Social Deafferentation. A 3-Week Daily Assessment Study

  • Björn SchlierEmail author
  • Katharina Winkler
  • Edo Sebastian Jaya
  • Tania Marie Lincoln
Original Article


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.


Schizophrenia 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.

Ethical Approval

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

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Animal Rights

No animal studies were carried out by the authors for this article.

Supplementary material

10608_2017_9871_MOESM1_ESM.docx (1.3 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 1355 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Björn Schlier
    • 1
    Email author
  • Katharina Winkler
    • 1
  • Edo Sebastian Jaya
    • 1
  • Tania Marie Lincoln
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Institute for Psychology, Faculty of Psychology and Human MovementUniversität HamburgHamburgGermany

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