Do You Hear Unwanted Voices In Your Head? Let’S Study Why!

Listening to your inner self is a must to live a life that is full of satisfaction. All of us hear voices in our heads and agree with it often. However, things can get problematic if you hear unwanted voices in your head. To decode the reasons of these unwanted voices, let’s take a look at a study.

Schizophrenia and hallucinations are the major causes of it

Schizophrenia is a long-term and severe mental problem. More than one million people suffer from this disease each year in India. People in their late adolescent years and early childhood are more prone to get affected from this illness.

A person dealing with schizophrenia may have disruptive thinking, perception and emotions. It also affects the behavior, this way it may get tough for you to hold onto a job and manage day-to-day life. Furthermore, you may have difficulty in getting along with people.

Hearing unwanted voices or “auditory verbal hallucinations” is the most common symptom of schizophrenia. Experts suggest that these hallucinations occur if you don’t agree with your inner speech or voice.

Efference copy reduces brain response

At the time, you let your thoughts come out of your mouth loudly, brain instructs vocal chords, tongue and lips to move in a specific way. It helps you in generating the sound that you wish to convey. In this process, brain makes a copy of the instructions. It is called “efference copy.”

Efference copy enables brain regions (responsible to process sound) to predict what they are will receive. If the efference copy sound is same that you actually hear just before speaking, then response of sound processing is more softened or subdued.

What new study says on, inner speech making efference copies?

In this study, experts tried to learn whether brain makes efference copy for inner speech in the same way as brain does in the situations when you speak loudly.

For this study, 42 healthy volunteers were recruited. They listened to vocal speech on headphones and electroencephalography (EEG) was used to track their brain activity. They were instructed to make either same or different sounds in the heads to the sound they could hear.

As the study progressed, EEG recordings showed that when the inner speech sound was same as the external one, the response from the brain was lowered. On the other hand, the response was extreme when the inner speech sound did not match the external sound and dampening was not there.

It is enough to conclude that brain makes an efference copy of the inner speech as well as external speech.

It is possible that some of your dear ones may have this problem. In such situation, it is better to consult a specialist. If you are unable to find an expert near you, then you can book an appointment with Dr. Minakshi Manchanda (Sr. Consultant in Psychiatry). She has wealth of experience in taking care of people with schizophrenia and mood disorders and has done world of good for them.

Content Reviewed by – Asian Hospital Medical Editors