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Auditory Hallucinations in Nonverbal Quadriplegics

John Hamilton
Psychiatry, 1985, 48, 4: 382-92.
Reprinted in Marcel Kuijsten (ed.), Reflections on the Dawn of Consciousness: Julian Jaynes's Bicameral Mind Theory Revisited (Julian Jaynes Society, 2006).


When a system for communicating with nonverbal, quadriplegic, institutionalized residents was developed, it was discovered that many were experiencing auditory hallucinations. Nine cases are presented in this study. The "voices" described have many similar characteristics, the primary one being that they give authoritarian commands that tell the residents how to behave and to which the residents feel compelled to respond. Both the relationship of this phenomenon to the theoretical work of Julian Jaynes and its effect on the lives of the residents are discussed.