[Paleopsych] UPI: Scientists Study Music Hallucinations

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Thu Jul 14 21:05:37 UTC 2005

Scientists Study Music Hallucinations
[Thanks to Laird for this and the last one.]

NEWPORT, Wales, July 12 (UPI) -- Psychiatrists at St. Cadoc's Hospital in Wales 
have issued the largest case-series study ever published concerning musical 

Although the condition has been known for more than a century, it has rarely 
been studied, The New York Times reported Tuesday. It is believed musical 
hallucinations result from malfunctioning brain networks.

Dr. Victor Aziz and Dr. Nick Warner analyzed 30 cases of musical hallucination 
covering 15 years and found in two-thirds of the cases musical hallucinations 
were the only mental disturbance experienced by the patients. Women tended to 
suffer musical hallucinations more than men, and the average patient was 78 
years old. Religious music was heard in two-thirds of the cases.

The researchers noted musical hallucinations differ from the auditory 
hallucinations of people with schizophrenia in that only music is heard. There 
is no treatment, with some doctors trying antipsychotic drugs, with others 
using cognitive behavioral therapy.

Aziz told the Times he suspects musical hallucinations will become more 
commonplace since people today are awash in music from radios, televisions, 
elevators and supermarkets. "I hope I live long enough to find out myself in 20 
years time," he said.

The study appears in the July issue of the journal Psychopathology.

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