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what are hallucinations

A hallucination is a perception in the absence of external stimulus that has qualities of real perception. Hallucinations are vivid, substantial, and are perceived to be located in external objective space. They are distinguishable from these related phenomena: dreaming, which does not involve wakefulness; illusion, which involves distorted or misinterpreted real perception; imagery, which does not mimic real perception and is under voluntary control; and pseudohallucination, which does not mimic real perception, but is not under voluntary control

Hallucinations also differ from “delusional perceptions”, in which a correctly sensed and interpreted stimulus (i.e., a real perception) is given some additional (and typically absurd) significance.

Hallucinations can occur in any sensory modality—visual, auditory, olfactory, gustatory, tactile, proprioceptive, equilibrioceptive, nociceptive, thermoceptive and chronoceptive.

A mild form of hallucination is known as a disturbance, and can occur in most of the senses above. These may be things like seeing movement in peripheral vision, or hearing faint noises and/or voices. Auditory hallucinations are very common in schizophrenia. They may be benevolent (telling the subject good things about themselves) or malicious, cursing the subject etc