Studying auditory verbal hallucinations 

and auditory misperceptions

I thought of the voices as … something a little different from aliens. I thought of them more like angels … It's really my subconscious talking; it was really that, I know that now.

― John Nash (US mathematician who inspired the Oscar-winning film A Beautiful Mind)


Most people experience auditory misperceptions at one time or another, such as 'hearing' our mobile phone only to discover that it isn't actually ringing. Others experience more unusual phenomena, like hearing voices in the absence of someone speaking. Auditory hallucinations of this sort are common in conditions such as schizophrenia and other psychoses, and can be distressing for many people.

The mechanisms underlying auditory misperceptions and hallucinations have been investigated in different ways. One popular approach is to use methods that generate brief auditory misperceptions in most people under controlled conditions in the laboratory. Various paradigms have been developed to do this, but they have numerous limitations.

We addressed these limitations in the voice-hearing task (VHT), which is brief, structurally flexible, easy to administer and psychometrically robust. The task files are free to download and use for research, on the understanding that you will cite the paper where we first presented the task (Huque, A. U., Heaney, A., Poliakoff, E., & Brown, R. J. [2017]. Development and validation of a voice-hearing task for research on auditory verbal hallucinations and auditory misperception. Psychosis, 9[4], 338-346) in any studies that use it. Please share your research findings with us too as it will enrich our understanding of false alarms on the VHT. We will be happy to cite your work on this website.

Please contact us if you have any queries. We would be very happy to assist.