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Auditory Hallucinations and Reduced Language Lateralization in Schizophrenia: A Meta-analysis of Dichotic Listening Studies

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 January 2013

Sebastian Ocklenburg*
Affiliation:
Department of Biological and Medical Psychology, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
René Westerhausen
Affiliation:
Department of Biological and Medical Psychology, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway Division for Psychiatry, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway
Marco Hirnstein
Affiliation:
Department of Biological and Medical Psychology, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
Kenneth Hugdahl
Affiliation:
Department of Biological and Medical Psychology, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway Division for Psychiatry, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway Department of Radiology, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway
*
Correspondence and reprint requests to: Sebastian Ocklenburg, Department of Biological and Medical Psychology/Bergen fMRI Group, University of Bergen, Jonas Lies vei 91, 5009 Bergen, Norway. E-mail: sebastian.ocklenburg@psybp.uib.no

Abstract

Reduced left-hemispheric language lateralization has been proposed to be a trait marker for schizophrenia, but the empirical evidence is ambiguous. Recent studies suggest that auditory hallucinations are critical for whether a patient shows reduced language lateralization. Therefore, the aim of the study was to statistically integrate studies investigating language lateralization in schizophrenia patients using dichotic listening. To this end, two meta-analyses were conducted, one comparing schizophrenia patients with healthy controls (n = 1407), the other comparing schizophrenia patients experiencing auditory hallucinations with non-hallucinating controls (n = 407). Schizophrenia patients showed weaker language lateralization than healthy controls but the effect size was small (g = −0.26). When patients with auditory hallucinations were compared to non-hallucinating controls, the effect size was substantially larger (g = −0.45). These effect sizes suggest that reduced language lateralization is a weak trait marker for schizophrenia as such and a strong trait marker for the experience of auditory hallucinations within the schizophrenia population. (JINS, 2013, 19, 1–9.)

Type
Research Articles
Copyright
Copyright © The International Neuropsychological Society 2013

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