Neurobiology of hallucination

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Poom Chompoosri
Weerapon Unaharassamee


Hallucination is a prominent symptom of psychosis and psychiatry in general. Though no consensus on its origin has been reached yet, a plethora of studies has sparked multiple theories on neurobiology of hallucination.

          The most prominent hypothesis is that hallucination is actually an internal stimulus misattributed as external stimulus. While the hypothesis itself can explain auditory hallucination and visual hallucination by a stretch and is backed by numbers of studies, the exact mechanism of misattribution is still a debatable topic. Charles Bonnet syndrome is a phenomenon of visual hallucination that occurs after damage to any part of the visual pathway. Hypotheses on the mechanisms of Charles Bonnet phenomenon are still up for discussion and may not be applicable to others types of hallucination. Recent studies on dopamine suggest that biased weighting on expectation rather than actual stimuli may be the underlying mechanism for illusion and hallucination, albeit by a stretch.

          While the exact neurobiology of hallucination is still inconclusive, it sure is a highly complicated process that is challenging to fully understand.


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