A Vestige of the Bicameral Mind
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.
- Acting on Command Hallucinations: A Cognitive Approach Beck-Sander, A., M. Birchwood, and P. Chadwick, British Journal of Clinical Psychology, February 1997, 36, 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, 121-138.
- 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, 1995, 56, 10, 462–5.