Sleep-Talking: Psychology and Psychophysiology

By Arthur M. Arkin | Go to book overview

5
Psychopathological Significance of Somniloquy

Do occasions of sleep-talking, particularly if recurrent, inevitably signify psychopathology? And, if so, is sleep-talking correlated with any psychiatric syndrome already described in the literature?


LITERATURE DESCRIPTIONS

Evidently, Andriani ( 1892) had observed sleep vocalization in so many people who seemed otherwise "normal" that he deemed it valid to call this subspecies "common" sleep-talking. By clear implication, this precedent is consistent with comments of many other authors ( Abe & Shimakawa, 1966a; Bañuelos, 1940; Bleuler, 1923; Bregman, 1910; Gastaut, 1967; Kanner, 1957; Kleitman, 1963; Landauer, 1918; Oswald, 1962; Pinkerton, 1839; Schilder & Kauders, 1956; Skinner, 1957; Trömner, 1911a, 1911b; Vogl, 1964; West, 1967). In addition, Andriani ( 1892) indicated that sleep-talking might occur in normal people possessing a "nervous temperament"; and Moll ( 1889) noted an association between sleep-talking and normals with a "sanguine temperament." Kleitman ( 1963) stated that "talking during sleep, or somniloquy, can hardly be called an abnormality except when it is associated with other parasomnias [p. 281]."

In a somewhat different vein, a number of authors have considered sleep- talking in normals to be a precursor or transitional form of somnambulism ( Bleuler, 1923; Brown, 1910; Carpenter, 1849; Ellis, 1926; Fischer, 1839; Moreau, 1820; Pinkerton, 1839). Finally, one writer believed that somniloquy is a sign of an hysterical or degenerative constitution ( Ziehen, 1926).

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