Predicting Psychotic-Like Experiences during Sensory DeprivationReport as inadecuate

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BioMed Research International - Volume 2015 2015, Article ID 439379, 10 pages -

Research ArticleResearch Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology, University College London, London WC1E 7HB, UK

Received 26 September 2014; Revised 9 January 2015; Accepted 12 January 2015

Academic Editor: Nader Perroud

Copyright © 2015 Christina Daniel and Oliver J. Mason. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Aims. This study aimed to establish the contribution of hallucination proneness, anxiety, suggestibility, and fantasy proneness to psychotic-like experiences PLEs reported during brief sensory deprivation. Method. Twenty-four high and 22 low hallucination-prone participants reported on PLEs occurring during brief sensory deprivation and at baseline. State-trait anxiety, suggestibility, and fantasy proneness were also measured. Results. Both groups experienced a significant increase in PLEs in sensory deprivation. The high hallucination prone group reported more PLEs both at baseline and in sensory deprivation. They also scored significantly higher on measures of state-trait anxiety, suggestibility, and fantasy proneness, though these did not explain the effects of group or condition. Regression analysis found hallucination proneness to be the best predictor of the increase in PLEs, with state anxiety also being a significant predictor. Fantasy proneness and suggestibility were not significant predictors. Conclusion. This study suggests the increase in PLEs reported during sensory deprivation reflects a genuine aberration in perceptual experience, as opposed to increased tendency to make false reports due to suggestibility of fantasy proneness. The study provides further support for the use of sensory deprivation as a safe and effective nonpharmacological model of psychosis.

Author: Christina Daniel and Oliver J. Mason



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