Auditory hallucinations induced with Pavlovian conditioning

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Some of my best friends are the voices in my head.


I suppose many people who had a baby who did never stopped crying, can tell also a lot of auditory hallucinations.
I’m still very thankful to a friend who pointed me to that naming when I thought I was getting crazy. Wonder how he did know, before above posting.

(Baby was helped with 24/7 body contact. Also not easy, and a huge load. But better than at another way thinking you are going crazy)


Everyone continuously experiences ‘auditory hallucinations’. It’s called “thinking”. Since humans are extensively social and verbal, it is of benefit to the individual to be able to model other people predictively, and to ‘rehearse’ one’s responses. These models live in your head. Normally, the illusion of a unitary “I” prevents these hallucinations from being obtrusive; interfering in smooth social functioning. It takes very little; a genetic quirk, a little shock, some drugs or just careful listening to hear these voices as discreet phenomena, separate from you. Also, sensory systems are primed to pick out relevant patterns in the noisy environment. It’s easy to hear voices in the babbling brook, but they’re not always talking about YOU.


…whatever YOU are.

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You’re not alone!

My daughter, as an infant, was sensitive to the sound of the vacuum cleaner. Like any parent I eventually figured out how to clean without making her cry. However - for a long time, whenever I would turn on the vacuum, I would hear that crying sound. Even when she wasn’t home. Eventually we got rid of the vacuum.


Exactly that. Good description.
I personally think such is different from hearing “your inner voice(es)/dialog, or be open, induced or not, to such.”

It is, or has, carved some brain paths, by an external source, and can be triggered by doing the same thing when. (In your case the vacuum cleaner).

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Same here (hear ? :slight_smile: ) our daughter was very colicky, and we sought out white noise to help her and us to sleep. I still remember my wife and I both continually sitting bolt upright because we heard our daughter screaming, but it was just an auditory hallucination emerging from the white noise. Sleeplessness + new baby brain is a mindfuck. Amusingly, I now quite often think I’m getting auditory hallucinations, but it always turns out I’ve just sat on or leaned against “Violet,” the stupid talking/singing stuffed animal some evil person gave our daughter…

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I personally think such is different from hearing “your inner voice

i completely agree! As a teacher and a musician I understand audiation and “inner hearing”, and this was totally different. Auditory hallucinations are not like an earworm, or a catchy melody, or that thing you do in your head after the leader of your a capella group gives the starting pitch to get ready to sing. This was involuntary and annoying. But it was amusingly easy to control by turning off the vacuum cleaner :slight_smile:

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We used to turn certain noisemaking toys into bath toys or beach toys (batteries removed, of course!)

Once is usually all it takes :wink:


Mark this as the most honest LOLs I’ve ever posted on these here Internets. If you hear dorky laughter in your head right now, it’s not just an auditory hallucination…


In the book “NeuroLogic: The Brain’s Hidden Rationale Behind Our Irrational Behavior” the author describes research into schizophrenic voices – by placing sensitive microphones near the subject’s mouth or throat, they could detect the subject mouthing the words they were “hearing” inside their brains. Which lead them to the idea that maybe these patients were lacking the feedback mechanism which allows them to recognize their own voices.

A slightly different observation/question: I can hear music in my head in real time, which is strange because sound is composed of vibrations in air. Typically when you want to replay a sound you’ve got some kind of machine which records and then plays back the sound. So do we have an audio sampler in our heads? I’m vaguely aware that when I’m “playing back” a song or sound I’ve heard, that my throat and tongue muscles feel engaged, like I’m singing, but silently.

Finally, I’ve got a mocking bird in the tree outside my window, and that little bugger is constantly sampling and playing back 0.5 second patches of sound. Car alarms, cricket noise, frogs chirping, other birds, dogs barking, cats meowing etc. How in the hell does that bird, with a tiny bird’s brain, record and then playback a substantial library of sounds?

the memory of your hand is the ever present now (was that eckhart?)

I think this is a misrepresentation of the original study. When I read it, the study was more to explore whether individuals with previously diagnosed psychosis were more susceptible to “auditory hallucinations”. Which they were, by a significant factor.

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I’ve developed this problem. Knocking at the door and there’s no one there. I’ve slept on the couch with the door open just so that I could catch the people that obviously weren’t there (as it turned out). Uh, had other, stranger audio hallucinations which have been on par with having the d.t.'s, without actually having the d.t.'s. And I really do know what I’m saying here, unfortunately. It’s a lot like living in the Twilight Zone…

Science confirms: songs can indeed be stuck in your head.

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