Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Hearing 'Messages' Embedded In Noise Could Be Early Sign Of Schizophrenia

Date:
October 25, 2007
Source:
Yale University
Summary:
A tendency to extract messages from meaningless noise could be an early sign of schizophrenia, according to a Yale study. During a "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.

Could a tendency to extract messages from meaningless noise could be an early sign of schizophrenia?
Credit: iStockphoto/Joshua Blake

A tendency to extract messages from meaningless noise could be an early sign of schizophrenia, according to a study by Yale School of Medicine researchers.

Related Articles


The study this month in the British Journal of Psychiatry reported on 43 participants diagnosed with "prodromal symptoms"-- meaning they exhibited early warning signs of psychosis such as social withdrawal, mild perceptual alterations, or misinterpretation of social cues.

Participants in the study were randomly assigned to take the anti-psychotic medication olanzapine or a placebo, and then symptoms and neuropsychological function were assessed for up to two years.

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.

"A tendency to extract message-like meaning from meaningless sensory information can, over time, produce a 'matrix of unreality' that triggers the initial psychotic phase of schizophrenia-spectrum disorders," Hoffman said.

He said further research is needed because of the small size of this study. However, if these findings are verified, Hoffman added, they could provide an inexpensive tool for identifying those individuals with early warning signs of schizophrenia who would most likely benefit from preventive drug therapy.

British Journal of Psychiatry 191: pp 355-356 doi: 10.1192/bjp.bp.106.031195


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Yale University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Yale University. "Hearing 'Messages' Embedded In Noise Could Be Early Sign Of Schizophrenia." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 October 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071024115306.htm>.
Yale University. (2007, October 25). Hearing 'Messages' Embedded In Noise Could Be Early Sign Of Schizophrenia. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 3, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071024115306.htm
Yale University. "Hearing 'Messages' Embedded In Noise Could Be Early Sign Of Schizophrenia." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071024115306.htm (accessed March 3, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

This Nasal Treatment Could Help Ease Migraine Pain

This Nasal Treatment Could Help Ease Migraine Pain

Newsy (Mar. 2, 2015) Researchers gave lidocaine to 112 patients, and about 88 percent of the subjects said they needed less migraine-relief medicine the next day. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Facebook Use Can Lead To Depression

How Facebook Use Can Lead To Depression

Newsy (Mar. 1, 2015) Margaret Duffy of the University of Missouri talks about her study on the social network and the envy and depression that Facebook use can cause. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Foods to Battle Stress

The Best Foods to Battle Stress

Buzz60 (Feb. 26, 2015) If you&apos;re dealing with anxiety, there are a few foods that can help. Krystin Goodwin (@krystingoodwin) has the best foods to tame stress. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sleeping Too Much Or Too Little Might Increase Stroke Risk

Sleeping Too Much Or Too Little Might Increase Stroke Risk

Newsy (Feb. 26, 2015) People who sleep more than eight hours per night are 45 percent more likely to have a stroke, according to a University of Cambridge study. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins