Hallucinations: Synchronisation of thalamocortical
oscillationsunderconstrained by sensory input
MRCPsych, Longley Centre, Norwood Grange Drive, Sheﬃeld S5 7JT, UK
Received 8 October 2002
What we perceive is the product of an intrinsic process and not part of externalphysical reality. This notion is consistent with the philosophical position of tran-scendental idealism but also agrees with physiological ﬁndings on the thalamocor-tical system.
-Frequency rhythms of discharge activity from thalamic and corticalneurons are facilitated by cholinergic arousal and resonate in thalamocortical net-works, thereby transiently forming assemblies of coherent
oscillations underconstraints of sensory input and prefrontal attentional mechanisms. Perception andconscious experience may be based on such assemblies and sensory input to thalamicnuclei plays merely a constraining role in their formation. In schizophrenia, theability of sensory input to modulate self-organisation of thalamocortical
activitymay be generally reduced. If during arousal thalamocortical self-organisation isunderconstrained by sensory input, then attentional mechanisms alone may deter-mine the content of perception and hallucinations may arise.
2003 Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved.
Perception; Thalamocortical system;
Oscillations; Hallucinations; SchizophreniaConsciousness and Cognition 12 (2003) 413–451
2003 Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved.doi:10.1016/S1053-8100(03)00017-5