Ventriloquism was invented around 1800. The first person to use it was Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone.
What causes ventriloquism?
Ventriloquism is an abnormal reaction to sound pressure, or sound waves. This is often referred to as a “perceived sensation of hearing”. Some conditions can cause this to happen including:
Invasive Cerebral Palsy, which causes abnormal movement of the ears and/or brain (peripheral vestibular disorder or otolaryngology – a condition that affects the auditory brainstem)
Neurogenic Lung Disease, which affects the respiratory tracts
Neurogenic Glaucoma, which can interfere with vision
Can ventriloquism exist with hearing loss?
Ventriloquism can be present by hearing and in some cases without hearing loss. Vibroacoustic analysis (VBA), a type of medical testing that measures sound pressure using an internal microphone and a device called a diphtheria and tetanus device, does not show hearing loss in ventriloquism, although it can be done.
How was ventriloquism treated?
Ventriloquism was usually treated in both sides, using speech and oral medicine. Over the years, treatments varied. In the 19th century, the primary treatment was to use an electrode to stimulate the parietal lobe. In the 1920s and 30s, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) was used to reduce the frequency of speech and to cause a wave of stimulation to the brain that could be felt as hearing. There are varying opinions on the effectiveness of TMS during treatment. A variety of medications, called neuroleptics, as well as electrical stimulation were used to treat ventriloquism during the same time. The most common procedure to alleviate ventriloquism was speech therapy, often using speech therapy to improve comprehension or to correct bad spelling. Other treatments included:
The use of an electric current to treat the ventriloquism
Electrical stimulation that used a diphtheria (TH) machine (the diphthong)
An implantable device for improving movement in the ear
Over the course of 40 years of research, ventriloquism continued to be treated using different forms of treatment:
Treatment with the electrodes. Electrode therapy was used until the
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