Hallucinations involve perceptions of stimuli that do not exist in the physical world.
They occur not only in schizophrenia but are experienced by people with other psychiatric disorders, neurological and neurodegenerative conditions, and among the general population.
Understanding what it is like to experience hallucinations and whether the experience of hallucinations is similar for patients with different disorders, and people without a diagnosis is challenging as the experience can be idiosyncratic and personal.
Sound and Vision paired local artists with patients who have had hallucinations to create art pieces that represent their experiences.
Five patients with diagnoses of schizophrenia and four with Parkinson’s disease were invited to take part in participating NHS clinics. Patients met with the artists on several occasions who then developed the piece as a collaborative endeavour.
The goal of the website is to increase public understanding of hallucinations and help reduce perceived stigma. However, as well as being a conclusion, it is also a beginning. Anyone viewing the Sound and Vision website is invited to tell us about their own hallucination-like experiences.
Hallucinations can happen to anyone at any time in life, such as at times of stress or fatigue, or following a life event like a bereavement and we would like to hear from as many people as possible to document the widest range of experiences and, importantly, how people feel about them.
These accounts will help us better understand hallucinations and how they can be managed.
About the project
Sound and Vision is a project that connected local artists with two patients who have had hallucinations to create art pieces that represent their experiences. With each artist was one patient with a diagnosis of schizophrenia and one with a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. Patients met with the artists on several occasions to develop the ideas for the piece together. The goals of this project are to increase public understanding of hallucinations and establish a platform to begin to improve our understanding of the diversity of hallucination-like experiences in the general population. By exploring the plurality of hallucinations and their ubiquity in health and disease, we can reduce the fear and stigma of these experiences that challenge our perception of reality.
Professor John Suckling
Director of Research in Psychiatric Neuroimaging
Physicist with over 30 years experience in medical imaging, he applies neuroimaging and biostatistics to investigate diverse neurodevelopmental and psychopathological conditions and their treatment through neuroscience, experimental medicine, and large-scale multi-centre clinical trials.
Dr Colleen Rollins
Post-doctoral researcher in with Professor John Suckling and Dr Graham Murray.
Currently leading this project exploring the lived experience of hallucinations through art making.
A component of this project has recently been published in Cognitive Neuropsychiatry: DOI: 10.1080/13546805.2021.1993807