Arts-based methods for hallucination research.
INTRODUCTION: Neurocognitive models of hallucinations posit theories of misattribution and deficits in the monitoring of mental or perceptual phenomena but cannot yet account for the subjective experience of hallucinations across individuals and diagnostic categories. Arts-based research methods (ABRM) have potential for advancing research, as art depicts experiences which cognitive neuropsychiatry seeks to explain. METHODS: To examine how incorporating ABRM may advance hallucination research and theories, we explore data on the lived experiences of hallucinations in psychiatric and neurological populations. We present a multiple case study of two empirical ABRM studies, which used participant-generated artwork and artist collaborations alongside interviews. RESULTS: ABRM combined with interviews illustrated that hallucinations were infused with sensory features, characterised by embodiment, and situated within lived circumstances. These findings advance neurocognitive models of hallucinations by nuancing their multimodal nature, illustrating their embodied feelings, and exploring their content and themes. The process of generating artworks aided in disclosing difficult to discuss hallucinations, promoted participant self-reflection, and clarified multimodal details that may have been misconstrued through interview alone. ABRM were relevant and acceptable for participants and researchers. CONCLUSION: ABRM may contribute to the development of neurocognitive models of hallucinations by making hallucination experiences more visible, tangible, and accessible.