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Supporting Evidence: New Research
Supporting Jaynes' Bicameral Mind Theory

Command Hallucinations: A Vestige of the Bicameral Mind

Supporting Evidence > Command Hallucinations


In his theory, Julian Jaynes explains how commanding hallucinations directed behavior in an earlier mentality, prior to the development of subjective consciousness. Jaynes's theory would predict that auditory hallucinations would not just consist of random voices, but would in fact comment on or direct behavior. Unknown at the time, hallucinations commanding behavior, referred to as "command hallucinations," have since been documented in dozens of studies. Below is a small sample of research supporting this aspect of Jaynes's theory.


Command Hallucinations

Acting on Command Hallucinations: A Cognitive Approach
Beck-Sander, A., M. Birchwood, & P. Chadwick. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, Feb. 1997, 36 (Part 1): 139-48.

Command Hallucinations: Who Obeys and Who Resists When?
Erkwoh, R., K. Willmes, A. Eming-Erdmanna and H.J. Kunert. Psychopathology, 2002, 35: 272-279.

Visual Command Hallucinations in a Patient with Pure Alexia
ffytche, D.H., J.M. Lappin, and M. Philpot. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry, 2004, 75: 80-86.

Command Hallucinations, Compliance, and Risk Assessment
Hersh, K., and R. Borum. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 1998, 26: 353-359.

Predicting Compliance with Command Hallucinations
Junginger, J. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 1990, 147 (2): 245-247.

Command Hallucinations and the Prediction of Dangerousness
Junginger, J. Psychiatric Services, September 1995, 46: 911-914.

Compulsions Developing into Command Hallucinations
Klemperer, F. Psychopathology, 1996, 29 (4): 249-51.

Command Hallucinations Among Asian Patients with Schizophrenia
Lee T.M., S.A. Chong, Y.H. Chan, and G. Sathyadevan. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, December 2004, 49 (12): 838-42.

The Relationship Between Command Hallucinations and Violence
McNiel, Dale E., Jane P. Eisner, and Renée L. Binder. Psychiatric Services, October 2000, 51: 1288-1292.

Compliance with Command Hallucinations: The Role of Power in Relation to the Voice, and Social Rank in Relation to the Voice and Others
Reynolds, Nicky and Peter Scragg. Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology, 2010, 21: 1.

The Clinical Presentation of Command Hallucinations in a Forensic Population
Rogers, R., J.R. Gillis, R.E. Turner, and T. Frise-Smith. American Journal of Psychiatry, 1990, 147: 1304-1307.

Relation Between Command Hallucinations and Dangerous Behavior
Rudnick, A. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 1999, 27: 252-257.

Command Hallucinations in Outpatients with Schizophrenia
Zisook, S., D. Byrd, J. Kuck, D.V. Jeste. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, Oct. 1995, 56 (10): 462-5.