Hearing 'Messages' Embedded In Noise Could Be Early Sign Of Schizophrenia
During the "babble task," participants listened with headphones to overlapping recordings of six speakers reading neutral texts, which made the words virtually incomprehensible. The participants were asked to repeat any words or phrases that they heard. Only four words--"increase," "children," "A-OK," and "Republican"--were consistently reproduced.Eighty percent of the participants who "heard" phrases of four or more words in length went on to develop a schizophrenia-related illness during times that they were not taking olanzapine, said the lead author, Ralph Hoffman, M.D., associate professor of psychiatry. In contrast, only six percent of those in the study converted to schizophrenia-related illness if the phrases "heard" were less than three words in length.
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