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The relationship between contextual processing, intrusive imagery and hallucination proneness

Glazer, DA; (2011) The relationship between contextual processing, intrusive imagery and hallucination proneness. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Aims: This study tested the hypothesis that hallucinations exist on a continuum with intrusive imagery and that contextual processing underlies this relationship. The study hypothesised that weak contextual (allocentric) processing would correlate with intrusive images that are vivid, sensory and possess a strong sense of nowness. Further, that hallucination-proneness would also be associated with a weaker contextual system either directly or indirectly via the presence of intrusive imagery. Method: A cross-sectional, correlation design was employed using a general population sample. 55 participants completed a virtual environment task that probed allocentric and egocentric processing and memory. An intrusive interview paradigm and measures assessing predisposition to psychotic experiences were also employed. Results: Weaker allocentric processing was associated with intrusive images with a greater sense of “nowness”. Both egocentric and allocentric systems were related to the sensory attributes of intrusive imagery. Predisposition to hallucinations was associated with greater “nowness” of intrusive imagery and post-hoc findings demonstrated a relationship between weaker allocentric processing and more extreme cases on the hallucination scale. Conclusion: The findings supported some of the hypotheses, which have clinical implications with regard to understanding psychotic features within traumatised individuals and the development of psychosis more widely. Limitations and further areas of research are discussed.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:The relationship between contextual processing, intrusive imagery and hallucination proneness
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language:English
Additional information:Thesis in two volumes: volume 2 is restricted
Keywords:contexual processing, intrusive imagery, hallucinations

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