The study investigated whether auditory hallucinations (AH) in schizophrenia are linked to a deficit in inhibition. Two tasks assessing the intentional suppression of cognitive events-the Hayling Sentence Completion Test (HSCT) [Neuropsychologia 34 (1996) 263] and the Inhibition of Currently Irrelevant Memories Task (ICIM) [Nature Neuroscience 2 (1999) 677]-were administered to 42 patients with schizophrenia and 24 normal controls. Presence and severity of symptoms in the patient group were examined using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS). Patients performed significantly worse on the measures of inhibition compared to controls. More importantly, among patients, significant positive correlations were obtained between an index of AH severity (defined as an increase in frequency of AH on PANSS) and the number of type A errors on the HSCT and errors in the last three runs of the ICIM. An increase in AH severity was, therefore, associated with increasingly impaired control of intentional inhibition. Furthermore, no significant correlations were found between these indices of inhibition and either negative, general or positive symptoms (excluding AH scores). (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.