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Department of Psychology


Publication details for Professor Charles Fernyhough

Jones, S. R. & Fernyhough, C. (2007). Thought as action: Inner speech, self-monitoring, and auditory verbal hallucinations. Consciousness and Cognition 16(2): 391-399.

Author(s) from Durham


Passivity experiences in schizophrenia are thought to be due to a failure in a neurocognitive action self-monitoring system (NASS). Drawing on the assumption that inner speech is a form of action, a recent model of auditory verbal hallucinations (AVHs) has proposed that AVHs can be explained by a failure in the NASS. In this article, we offer an alternative application of the NASS to AVHs, with separate mechanisms creating the emotion of self-as-agent and other-as-agent. We defend the assumption that inner speech can be considered as a form of action, and show how a number of previous criticisms of applying the NASS to AVHs can be refuted. This is achieved in part through taking a Vygotskian developmental perspective on inner speech. It is suggested that more research into the nature and development of inner speech is needed to further our understanding of AVHs.