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 ChildhoodBartels-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 ChildrenBest, 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 SettingEdelsohn, Gail, American Journal of Psychiatry, May 2006, 163, 781–785.
- Independent Course of Childhood Auditory Hallucinations: A Sequential 3-year Follow-up StudyEscher, 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 DevelopmentFernyhough, 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 Meta-analysis of Population-Based StudiesKelleher, Ian, D. Connor, M.C. Clarke, N. Devlin, M. Harley, M. Cannon, Psychological Medicine, 2012, 9, 1–7.
- Hallucinatory Experiences in Nonpsychotic ChildrenKotsopoulos, S., J. Kanigsberg, A. Cote, C. Fiedorowicz, Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, May 1987, 26, 3, 375–380.
- Auditory Hallucinations in “Non-Psychotic” ChildrenLevin, Max, American Journal of Psychiatry, May 1932, 88, 6, 1119–1152.
- Auditory Hallucinations in Nonpsychotic Children: Diagnostic ConsiderationsMertin P. and S. Hartwig, Child and Adolescent Mental Health, February 2004, 9, 1, 9–14.
- Auditory Hallucinations in Normal Child PopulationsPearson, David, Andrea Burrow, Christina FitzGerald, Kate Green, Gary Lee, and Nicola Wise, Personality & Individual Differences, August 2001, 31, 3, 401–407.
- Non-Psychotic Auditory Hallucinations in Children and AdolescentsPerera, Hemamali, Udena Attygalle, Chandima Jeewandara, Vijini Jayawardena, Sri Lanka Journal of Psychiatry, 2011, 2, 1.
- Invisible PlaymatesPines, 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, 623–625.
- Hallucinations in Children: Diagnostic and Treatment StrategiesSidhu, Kanwar Ajit S. and T. O. Dickey III, Current Psychiatry, October 2010, 9, 10.
- Hallucinations in Nonpsychotic Children and AdolescentsSimonds, John F., Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 1975, 4, 2, 171–182.
- Hallucinations in Children and AdolescentsSosland, Morton D. and Gail A. Edelsohn, Current Psychiatry Reports, 2005, 7, 3, 180–188.
- Hallucinations in Nonpsychotic ChildrenVickers, Bea and Elena Garralda, Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, September 2000, 39, 9, 1073.
- Hallucinatory Experiences in a Community Sample of Japanese ChildrenYoshizumi, Takahiro Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Aug 2004, 43, 8, 1030-1036.
- Hallucinatory Experiences in a Community Sample of Japanese ChildrenYoshizumi, Takahiro, Satomi Murase, Shuji Honjo, Hitoshi Kaneko, Takashi Murakami, Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, August 2004, 43, 8, 1030–1036.
Imaginary Playmates and Other Mental Phenomena of Children
The House of Make-Believe: Children’s Play and the Developing Imagination
Television, Imagination, and Aggression: A Study of Preschoolers
Imaginary Companions and the Children Who Create Them
Invisible Companions: Encounters with Imaginary Friends, Gods, Ancestors, and Angels