Science Questions

Can you get hallucinations of smell and touch?

Sun, 26th Sep 2010

Part of the show Neuroimaging

Question

DavidWorley94 asked:

If you can get auditory and visual hallucinations, can you get ones that make you believe you can smell or touch things?

Answer

We put this question to Professor Paul Fletcher...

 

Paul -   You certainly can - you can get hallucinations in any sensory modality.  You can get hallucinations of taste, smell, touch, as well as visual and auditory.  In fact, in certain cases of mental illness, hallucinations of smell can be exceedingly unpleasant and people can have the belief that they're actually rotting from the inside.

 

Chris -   Thatís not very pleasant.

 

Paul -   It sounds horrible.

 

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