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Auditory verbal hallucinations (AVH)

Auditory verbal hallucinations (AVH) are among the most common symptom in schizophrenia, affecting 70 % of the patients. AVH are defined as vocal perceptions without an appropriate external stimulus. Thus, concerned patients are hearing voices commenting their behaviour and personal thoughts often in a vulgar, negative, instructional or emotional manner. Several explanations have been provided, but the causes are still a matter of debate: actual brain imaging studies suggest that changes in the structural connectivity of auditory areas and certain dysfunctions in the left speech-relevant areas are involved in their pathophysiology. The cortical localization and the neural pathways for speech processing are quite well examined and it has been shown using brain imaging techniques that AVH have their neuronal origin in the same areas as normal speech perception.

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