Believing is hearing is believing

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Auditory consciousness takes many forms. Some of these, such as auditory perception and imagination, are familiar to nearly all people, which others, such as tinnitus or hearing voices, are rare and unfamiliar to most. This chapter proposes a simplified conceptual model of the auditory system, involving bottom-up influences from the lower auditory pathways and top-down influences from higher evaluative mechanisms. This model is used to explain auditory perception, hallucinations and illusions based, for each phenomenon, on only minor variations from the normally functioning system. Neuroimaging and electrophysiological correlates of these processes are discussed, along with their inability to qualitatively differentiate conscious from unconscious processes, and how we might approach this problem in future.


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