Linguistic dual tasking reduces emotionality, vividness and credibility of voice memories in voice-hearing individuals: Results from a controlled trial

Alyssa Jongeneel*, Suzanne C. van Veen, Dorien Scheffers, Heleen Riper, Marcel A. van den Hout, Mark van der Gaag, David van den Berg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Dual taxation of the working memory during recall is an effective strategy to reduce the emotionality and vividness of visual intrusive memories and potentially changes dysfunctional beliefs associated with the memories. This study tested the hypothesis that dual tasking decreases emotionality, vividness and credibility of auditory intrusive images (i.e., memories of auditory hallucinations) with a two-level (time: pre and post; condition: dual tasking and recall only) within-subjects design. Thirty-seven voice-hearing participants selected two negative voice-hearing experiences. They recalled one of these experiences while performing a lingual dual task (i.e., language game on smartphone app) and recalled one memory without a dual task (in counterbalanced order). During the pre-test and post-test, emotionality and vividness of the voice-hearing memories were rated, as well as the credibility of the voice statements. There was a significantly greater decrease in emotionality, vividness and credibility during dual tasking than during recall only. This study provides proof of principle that the salience and credibility of the content of auditory hallucinations can be reduced by dual tasking; the clinical implications are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-254
Number of pages6
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020

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