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Supporting Evidence: New Research
Supporting Jaynes' Bicameral Mind Theory

Hallucinations in Children (Imaginary Companions)

Supporting Evidence > Hallucinations in Children (Imaginary Companions)


In his theory, Julian Jaynes describes the role hallucinations played in an earlier mentality, prior to the development of subjective consciousness. He predicted that imaginary companions (formerly called imaginary playmates) were more common in the normal population than was known at the time, and this has been confirmed in dozens of studies over the past three decades. In ancient civilizations, the imaginary companion would have taken the role of one's personal god, as seen in ancient Egyptian, Babylonian, and early Roman cultures. Below is a small sample of research supporting this aspect of Jaynes's theory.


Prevalence and Correlates of Auditory Vocal Hallucinations in Middle Childhood
Bartels-Velthuis, Agna A., Jack A. Jenner, Gerard van de Willige, Jim van Os, Durk Wiersma. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 2010, 196: 41-46.

Correlates of Auditory Hallucinations in Nonpsychotic Children
Best, Nicole T. and Peter Mertin. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, October 2007, 12 (4): 611-623.

Hallucinations in Children and Adolescents: Considerations in the Emergency Setting
Edelsohn, Gail. American Journal of Psychiatry, May 2006, 163: 781-785.

Independent Course of Childhood Auditory Hallucinations: A Sequential 3-year Follow-up Study
Escher, S., M. Romme, A. Buiks, P. Delespaul, and J. Van Os. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 2002, 181: s10-s18.

Imaginary Companions and Young Children's Responses to Ambiguous Auditory Stimuli: Implications for Typical and Atypical Development
Fernyhough, Charles, Kirsten Bland, Elizabeth Meins, and Max Coltheart. The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 2007, 48 (11): 1094-1101.

Prevalence of Psychotic Symptoms in Childhood and Adolescence: A Systematic Review and Metaanalysis of Population-Based Studies
Kelleher, Ian, D. Connor, M.C. Clarke, N. Devlin, M. Harley, M. Cannon. Psychological Medicine, 2012, 9: 17.

Hallucinatory Experiences in Nonpsychotic Children
Kotsopoulos, S., J. Kanigsberg, A. Cote, C. Fiedorowicz. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, May 1987, 26 (3): 375380.

Auditory Hallucinations in "Non-Psychotic" Children
Levin, Max. American Journal of Psychiatry, May 1932, 88: 1119-1152.

Hallucinations in Nonpsychotic Children
McGee, Rob, Sheila Williams, and Richie Poulton. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 2000, 39 (1): 12-13.

Auditory Hallucinations in Nonpsychotic Children: Diagnostic Considerations
Mertin P. and S. Hartwig. Child and Adolescent Mental Health, February 2004, 9 (1): 9-14(6).

Auditory Hallucinations in Normal Child Populations
Pearson, David, Andrea Burrow, Christina FitzGerald, Kate Green, Gary Lee, and Nicola Wise. Personality & Individual Differences, Aug. 2001, Special Issue, 31(3): 401407.

Non-Psychotic Auditory Hallucinations in Children and Adolescents
Perera, Hemamali, Udena Attygalle, Chandima Jeewandara, Vijini Jayawardena. Sri Lanka Journal of Psychiatry, 2011, 2 (1).

Invisible Playmates
Pines, Maya. Psychology Today, 1978, 12: 38-42.

Hallucinations in Nonpsychotic Children: More Common Than We Think?
Schreier, Herbert A. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, May 1999, 38 (5): 623625.

Hallucinations in Children: Diagnostic and Treatment Strategies
Sidhu, Kanwar Ajit S. and T. O. Dickey III. Current Psychiatry, Oct. 2010, 9 (10).

Hallucinations in Nonpsychotic Children and Adolescents
Simonds, John F. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 1975, 4 (2): 171-182.

Hallucinations in Children and Adolescents
Sosland, Morton D. and Gail A. Edelsohn. Current Psychiatry Reports, 2005, 7 (3): 180-188.

Hallucinations in Nonpsychotic Children
Vickers, Bea and Elena Garralda. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Sept. 2000, 39 (9): 1073.

Hallucinatory Experiences in a Community Sample of Japanese Children
Yoshizumi, Takahiro, Satomi Murase, Shuji Honjo, Hitoshi Kaneko, Takashi Murakami. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, August 2004, 43 (8): 10301036.