Hallucinations can occur in both healthy individuals and patients with psychiatric disorders. Researchers report in the journal Nature Communications that specific brain morphology differences in the paracingulate sulcus (PCS) can determine the occurrence of hallucinations in schizophrenia, irrespective of sensory modality.
Hallucinations are common in psychiatric disorders, and are also experienced by many individuals who are not mentally ill.
In 153 participants, researchers investigate brain structural markers that predict the occurrence of hallucinations by comparing patients with schizophrenia who have experienced hallucinations against patients who have not, matched on a number of demographic and clinical variables.
Using both newly validated visual classification techniques and automated, data-driven methods, hallucinations were associated with specific brain morphology differences in the paracingulate sulcus, a fold in the medial prefrontal cortex, with a 1 cm reduction in sulcal length increasing the likelihood of hallucinations by 19.9%, regardless of the sensory modality in which they were experienced.
The findings published in the journal nature Communications suggest a specific morphological basis for a pervasive feature of typical and atypical human experience.