Have you had a mind-pop experience today? Were you cleaning your teeth this morning and thinking about what you were going to wear for work when all of a sudden an unrelated word or tune popped into your mind? Did you think “where on earth did that come from”?
Almost everyone reports experiencing mind-pops at some time or another, but some experience them more than others according to research conducted by Professor Keith Laws, Professor Lia Kvavilashvili and Dr Ia Elua from the School of Psychology
Mind-pops are those little thoughts, words, images or tunes that suddenly pop into your mind at unexpected times and are totally unrelated to your current activity.
In the paper to be published in Psychiatry Research, findings suggest that mind-pop experiences are related to hallucinations in those people suffering from schizophrenia.
The researchers compared the frequency of mind-pops in people with schizophrenia, people with depression and mentally healthy individuals. Their study found that all 100% schizophrenia patients reported experiencing mind-pops, compared to 81% of the depressed patients and 86% of the mentally healthy individuals. In addition, schizophrenia patients experienced mind-pops significantly more frequently than depressed patients and mentally healthy people.
Based on the findings of the research, the team has suggested that verbal hallucinations, the chief symptom of schizophrenia, may be related to the mind-pop phenomenon that almost everybody experiences, but just manifests itself in a different way!