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NCIRE-The Veterans Health Research Institute is the leading private nonprofit institute devoted to Veterans health research in the United States. Our mission is to advance Veterans health through research.

We support the work of some of the nation's foremost physicians and scientists at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, the premier biomedical research facility in the VA system. All have faculty appointments at the University of California, San Francisco, which has its own proud traditions of research and patient care. We also partner with the U.S. Department of Defense to support health research on behalf of our men and women in the Armed Forces.

Those who have served in uniform have given their best for their country. In return, we believe that they deserve nothing less than the best health care research we can provide.

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Judith M. Ford, PhD

Research Scientist, Mental Health Service, SFVAHCS
Professor of Psychiatry, UCSF

Email: Judith.Ford@yale.edu

The Neurology of Schizophrenic Hallucinations

A substantial number of veterans who get their health care at the VA have schizophrenia. Dr. Ford, along with Daniel H. Mathalon, PhD, MD, and their colleagues at the Brain Imaging and EEG Lab at SFVAMC, record brain signals that accompany self-initiated actions from patients with schizophrenia and from healthy controls. These signals are an "early warning system" or a "cc to self" that tell a person that the resulting sensations are self-generated. This signal is reduced in patients with schizophrenia, suggesting that they may have abnormal sensory responses to their own actions. In a recent paper, Dr. Ford and her colleagues showed that patients who misperceive their own thoughts and inner experiences as voices coming from outside their head (i.e., auditory hallucinations) are missing this neural signal. This signal from the brain may ultimately give biological reality to the phenomenon of auditory hallucinations.

To see Dr. Ford on Pub Med, click here.