Publication details for Dr Marco BerniniAlderson-Day, B., Bernini, M. & Fernyhough, C. (2017). Uncharted features and dynamics of reading: Voices, characters, and crossing of experiences. Consciousness and Cognition 49: 98-109.
- Publication type: Journal Article
- ISSN/ISBN: 1053-8100
- DOI: 10.1016/j.concog.2017.01.003
- Further publication details on publisher web site
- Durham Research Online (DRO) - may include full text
Author(s) from Durham
Readers often describe vivid experiences of voices and characters in a manner that has been likened to hallucination. Little is known, however, of how common such experiences are, nor the individual differences they may reflect. Here we present the results of a 2014 survey conducted in collaboration with a national UK newspaper and an international book festival. Participants (n=1566) completed measures of reading imagery, inner speech, and hallucination-proneness, including 413 participants who provided detailed free-text descriptions of their reading experiences. Hierarchical regression analysis indicated that reading imagery was related to phenomenological characteristics of inner speech and proneness to hallucination-like experiences. However, qualitative analysis of reader’s accounts suggested that vivid reading experiences were marked not just by auditory phenomenology, but also their tendency to cross over into non-reading contexts. This supports social-cognitive accounts of reading while highlighting a role for involuntary and uncontrolled personality models in the experience of fictional characters.