Macquarie University
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Olfactory hallucinations in schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder: a neuropsychological investigation

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posted on 2022-03-28, 19:58 authored by Deborah Anne Arguedas
Purpose: The primary aim of this research was to address the current gap in knowledge of olfactory hallucinations (OHs), specifically within the schizophrenia population. This aim was addressed by employing a symptom-focused approach that combined clinical neuropsychological and cognitive neuropsychological perspectives to inform the understanding of the neural, neuropsychological and cognitive causes of OHs. Method: Two groups of clinical patients (one comprised of those self-reporting recent OHs (n = 11) and another self-reporting auditory verbal hallucinations (AVHs - with no lifetime history of OHs; n = 10)), in addition to a group of healthy controls (n = 18) completed a battery of neuropsychological tasks tapping into executive and amygdala functioning. An odour source discrimination task and an auditory verbal source monitoring task was also completed. Results: Evidence of smell identification impairment and aspects of general executive dysfunction was found in both clinical groups relative to controls. However, a pattern of dysfunction that particularly implicates OFC and amygdala neural circuitry (and disruption to their associated higher level neuropsychological skills) was also found that was specific to patients experiencing OHs. On tasks of source monitoring, preliminary evidence was found on the odour source discrimination task suggestive of a sensory specific source monitoring bias for patients with schizophrenia who experience OHs. In addition, a specific source monitoring deficit for auditory-verbal information was also found in patients that experience AVHs. Conclusion: The obtained results suggest that the generation of OHs may be underpinned by a combination of specific neuronal and related source monitoring dysfunction. This finding has implications for therapy in individuals with schizophrenia who experience OHs.


Table of Contents

General introduction -- Paper one: An exploratory study of the neuropsychological characteristics associated with olfactory hallucinations in schizophrenia -- Paper two: Source monitoring and olfactory hallucinations in schizophrenia


Empirical thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Psychology (Clinical Neuropsychology), Macquarie University, Macquarie Centre for Cognitive Science (MACCS), 2011. Includes bibliographical references Thesis by publication.

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis professional doctorate


Thesis (DPsych (Clinical Neuropsychology)), Macquarie University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Macquarie Centre for Cognitive Science (MACCS)

Department, Centre or School

Macquarie Centre for Cognitive Science

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Robyn Langdon

Additional Supervisor 1

Dick Stevenson


Copyright disclaimer: Copyright Deborah Arguedas 2011.




1 online resource (119 p.) col. ill

Former Identifiers

mq:28168 1760596