We are gratified at the largely positive comments on our essay on the dopaminehypothesis of schizophrenia (DHS) by these two distinguished commentators from the fields of biological psychiatry (Dr. Tamminga) and the philosophy of psychiatry (Dr. Murphy). There is little that they have said with which we disagree. Rather, we want to expand briefly on their commentaries.We found Dr. Tamminga's reactions to be particularly fascinating because she has been an "insider" to the story of the DHS (...) as it has unfolded. She provides substantial insight into the "extra-scientific" reasons for the persistence of the DHS despite its poor empirical record.She validates our impression that the DHS was in its first years of .. (shrink)
This essay selectively reviews, from an historical and philosophical perspective, the dopamine (DA) hypothesis of schizophrenia (DHS; Table 1 lists the abbreviations used in this essay). Our goal is not to adjudicate the validity of the theory—although we arrive at a generally skeptical conclusion—but to focus on the process whereby the DHS has evolved over time and been evaluated. Since its inception, the DHS has been the most prominent etiologic theory in psychiatry and is still referred to (...) widely in current textbooks (e.g., Buchanan and Carpenter, Jr. 2005, 1336; Cohen 2003, 225; Gazzaniga 2004, 1257;Kandel et al. 2000, 1200). Understanding its origins and evolution should help to clarify the nature of modern .. (shrink)
In psychiatry, pharmacological drugs play an important experimental role in attempts to identify the neurobiological causes of mental disorders. Besides being developed in applied contexts as potential treatments for patients with mental disorders, pharmacological drugs play a crucial role in research contexts as experimental instruments that facilitate the formulation and revision of neurobiological theories of psychopathology. This paper examines the various epistemic functions that pharmacological drugs serve in the discovery, refinement, testing, and elaboration of neurobiological theories of mental disorders. I (...) articulate this thesis with reference to the history of antipsychotic drugs and the evolution of the dopaminehypothesis of schizophrenia in the second half of the twentieth century. I argue that interventions with psychiatric patients through the medium of antipsychotic drugs provide researchers with information and evidence about the neurobiological causes of schizophrenia. This analysis highlights the importance of pharmacological drugs as research tools in the generation of psychiatric knowledge and the dynamic relationship between practical and theoretical contexts in psychiatry. (shrink)
I defend the case for an evolutionary theory of schizophrenia and the social brain, arguing that such an exercise necessitates a broader methodology than that familiar to neuroscience. I propose a reworked evolutionary genetic model of schizophrenia, drawing on insights from commentators, buttressing my claim that psychosis is a costly consequence of sophisticated social cognition in humans. Expanded models of social brain anatomy and the spectrum of psychopathologies are presented in terms of upper and lower social brain and (...) top-down and bottom-up processes. Finally, I argue that cerebral asymmetry evolved as an emergent property of primary intrahemispheric reorganisation in hominoids. (shrink)
The reorganization of psychiatric knowledge at the turn of the twentieth century derived from Emil Kraepelin’s clinical classification of psychoses. Surprisingly, within just few years, Kraepelin’s simple dichotomy between dementia praecox (schizophrenias) and manic-depressive psychosis (bipolar disorders) succeeded in giving psychiatry a new framework that is still used until the present day. Unexpectedly, Kraepelin’s simple clinical scheme based on the dichotomy replaced the significantly more differentiated nosography that dominated psychiatric research in the last three decades of the nineteenth century (Janzarik (...) in Themen und Tendenzen der deutschsprachigen Psychiatrie. Springer, Berlin, 1974). Moreover, although all the components of the future development were already available shortly after 1868, the real course, which led to Kraepelin’s dichotomy, was unpredictable then. This paper explores the ways in which the unpredictability of psychiatric knowledge and the postulate of a rationality underlying psychopathological phenomena interacted in the debates regarding the classification of psychoses. It examines the “natural antagonism” between the practical aspirations of an increasingly specialized medical nosology and unitary conceptions, which, in a psychopathological countermovement, emphasized that no somatic criteria can be specified for the majority of psychic abnormalities and that all nosological distinctions are not binding (Janzarik 1974, 20). In this context, this paper investigates the revival of unitary theories of psychosis in postwar German psychiatry and seeks to understand why the forms of thinking that dominated nineteenth-century psychiatry have proved to be very lasting. Furthermore, this paper emphasizes the perspectivity underlying psychiatric research on psychoses and explores the ways in which writing the history of the schizophrenia concept involves inevitably writing the history of the entire psychiatry. (shrink)
Introduction: More than half a century after the introduction of effective pharmacotherapy for the illness, in most patients schizophrenia remains a chronic, relapsing condition with poor long-term outcomes. Methods: We examine the pharmacological treatment of schizophrenia from different perspectives to understand why there have not been significant advances, and to consider what the future might hold in store. Results: We argue that the treatment of schizophrenia addresses the phenotype and not the cause; that the causes may not (...) be treatable even if identifiable; that secondary prevention approaches involving treating the phenotype before full-fledged illness develops have, so far, not yielded promising results; and that shifting the focus of treatment from dopamine to other neurotransmitter systems is merely a tertiary prevention approach which will not reverse the extensive structural and functional pathology of schizophrenia. Conclusions: We believe that, given the current state of our knowledge of the illness, the future of the pharmacotherapy of schizophrenia looks bleak. (shrink)
This paper seeks to demonstrate the structural difference in communication of schizophrenia and autism. For a normal adult, spontaneous communication is nothing but the transmission of phantasía (thought) by means of perceptual objects or language. This transmission is first observed in a make-believe play of child. Husserl named this function “perceptual phantasía,” and this function presupposes as its basis the “internalized affection of contact” (which functions empirically in eye contact, body contact, or voice calling me). Regarding autism, because of (...) the innate lack of affection of contact, intersubjective perceptual phantasía does not occur spontaneously. Consequently, autistics do not engage in make-believe play but in stereotyped and solipsistic play. Without the formation of perceptual phantasía, there is no differentiation between phantasía and perception. For this reason, people with Asperger's syndrome consider conversation not an immediate communication of thought but a logical transmission of concepts. Schizophrenia is characterized by a distortion in the internalized affection of contact, resulting in a disturbance of perceptual phantasía, and this later is covered by various symptoms—for example, delusion as a pathological kind of communication of thought. This delusion is based on the pathological internalized affection of contact represented by a terrifying Other. (shrink)
Schizophrenia is a worldwide, prevalent disorder with a multifactorial but highly genetic aetiology. A constant prevalence rate in the face of reduced fecundity has caused some to argue that an evolutionary advantage exists in unaffected relatives. Here, I critique this adaptationist approach, and review – and find wanting – Crow's “speciation” hypothesis. In keeping with available biological and psychological evidence, I propose an alternative theory of the origins of this disorder. Schizophrenia is a disorder of the social (...) brain, and it exists as a costly trade-off in the evolution of complex social cognition. Paleoanthropological and comparative primate research suggests that hominids evolved complex cortical interconnectivity (in particular, frontotemporal and frontoparietal circuits) to regulate social cognition and the intellectual demands of group living. I suggest that the ontogenetic mechanism underlying this cerebral adaptation was sequential hypermorphosis and that it rendered the hominid brain vulnerable to genetic and environmental insults. I argue that changes in genes regulating the timing of neurodevelopment occurred prior to the migration of Homo sapiens out of Africa 100,000–150,000 years ago, giving rise to the schizotypal spectrum. While some individuals within this spectrum may have exhibited unusual creativity and iconoclasm, this phenotype was not necessarily adaptive in reproductive terms. However, because the disorder shared a common genetic basis with the evolving circuitry of the social brain, it persisted. Thus schizophrenia emerged as a costly trade-off in the evolution of complex social cognition. Key Words: cortical connectivity; evolution; heterochrony; metarepresentation; primates; psychiatry; schizophrenia; social brain; social cognition. (shrink)
Chlorpromazine efficacy in schizophrenia was observed 60 years ago. Advances in pharmacotherapy of this disorder have been modest with effectiveness still limited to the psychosis psychopathology and mechanism still dependent on dopamine antagonism. While a look backward may generate pessimism, future discovery may be far more robust. The near future will see significant changes in paradigms applied in discovery. Rather than viewing schizophrenia as a disease entity represented by psychosis, the construct will be deconstructed into component psychopathology (...) domains. Each domain will represent a clinical target for aetiologic and therapeutic discovery. Research on pathophysiology will shift to the neural circuit level in relation to specific behavioural constructs. Progress at the molecular, genetic, cellular and network levels will be more robust. The behavioural paradigm will map on to the deconstructed clinical paradigm and in the process discovery will cut across current classification boundaries. (shrink)
This paper provides a concise description and discussion of bottom–up and top–down approaches to misattribution of agency in schizophrenia. It explores if first-person accounts of passivity phenomena can provide support for one of these approaches. The focus is on excerpts in which the writers specifically examine their experiences of external influence. None of the accounts provides arguments that fit easily with only one of the possible approaches, which is in line with current attempts to theoretical integration.
When addressing the notion of proper time in the theory of relativity, it is usually taken for granted that the time read by an accelerated clock is given by the Minkowski proper time. However, there are authors like Harvey Brown that consider necessary an extra assumption to arrive at this result, the so-called clock hypothesis. In opposition to Brown, Richard TW Arthur takes the clock hypothesis to be already implicit in the theory. In this paper I will present (...) a view different from these authors by recovering Einstein's notion of natural clock and showing its relevance to the debate. (shrink)
In this paper we show how we empirically tested one of the most relevant topics in philosophy of mind through a series of fMRI experiments: the classification of different types of intention. To this aim, firstly we trace a theoretical distinction among private, prospective and communicative intentions. Second, we propose a set of predictions concerning the recognition of these three types of intention in healthy individuals, and we report the experimental results corroborating our theoretical model of intention. Third, we derive (...) from our model predictions relevant for the domain of psychopathological functioning. In particular, we treat the cases of both hyper-intentionality (as in paranoid schizophrenia) and hypo-intentionality (as in autistic spectrum disorders). Our conclusion is that the theoretical model of intention we propose contributes to enlarge our knowledge on the neurobiological bases of intention processing, in both healthy people and in people with impairments to the neurocognitive system that underlies intention recognition. (shrink)
Evidence for a dysfunction in cognitive coordination in schizophrenia is emerging, but it is not specific enough to prove (or disprove) this long-standing hypothesis. Many aspects of the external world are spatially mapped in the brain. A comprehensive internal representation relies on integration of information across space. Focus on spatial integration in the perceptual and cognitive processes will generate empirical data that shed light on the pathophysiology of schizophrenia.
In this article we review research in our laboratory on auditory hallucinations using behavioral and MRI measure. The review consists of both previously published and new data that for the fi rst time is presented together in a cohesive way. Auditory hallucinations are among the most common symptoms in schizophrenia, affecting more than 70% of the patients. We here advance the hypothesis that auditory hallucinations are internally generated speech perceptions that are lateralized to the left temporal lobe, in (...) the peri-Sylvian region. From this we predict that hallucinating patients should have problems identifying a simultaneously presented external speech sound, as measured through performance on the dichotic listening (DL) paradigm with consonant-vowel syllables, since this technique lateralizes the stimulus input. Across a series of behavioral experiments, we have shown that patients with schizophrenia who experience frequent auditory hallucinations fail to demonstrate an expected right ear advantage on the dichotic listening test. Absence of a right ear advantage is indicative of a functional defi cit in the left peri-Sylvian region. The results also revealed that patients with ongoing auditory hallucinations were more impaired than patients with previous hallucinations, and that a higher score on the hallucination item in a standard symptom rating scale (BPRS) correlated negatively with number of correct reports for the right ear stimulus. Moreover, we have found that schizophrenia patients fail to shift attention to the left ear stimulus, when explicitly instructed to focus on the right or left ear stimulus only, thus showing a defi cit in inhibition of attention and response-inhibition. The behavioral DL data are substantiated in two MR morphometry studies that revealed signifi cant reductions in grey matter density in the left peri-Sylvian region in hallucinating patients, and patients with reduced left temporal lobe grey matter density. Hallucinating patients also failed to show a right ear advantage in the dichotic listening test. Ongoing fMRI studies are focused on the underlying synaptic and molecular mechanisms by investigating the effects of the glutamate antagonist drug memantine on auditory perception and speech lateralization, and examination of temporal cortex-specifi c gene expression in the left peri-Sylvian region. (shrink)
Gambling disorder sufferers prefer immediately larger rewards despite long term losses on the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT), and these impairments are associated with dopamine dysfunctions. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter linked with temporal and structural dysfunctions in substance use disorder, which has supported the idea of impaired decision-making and dopamine dysfunctions in gambling disorder. However, evidence from substance use disorders cannot be directly transferred to gambling disorder. This article focuses on three hypotheses of dopamine dysfunctions in gambling (...) disorder, which appear to be “fallacies”, i.e., have not been supported in a series of positron emission tomography (PET) studies. The first “fallacy” suggests that gambling disorder suffers, similar to substance use disorders, have lower dopamine receptor availability. No evidence supported this hypothesis. The second “fallacy” suggests that maladaptive decision-making in gambling disorder is associated with higher dopamine release during gambling. No evidence supported the hypothesis, and the literature on substance use disorders offers limited support for this hypothesis. The third “fallacy” suggests that maladaptive decision-making in gambling disorder is associated with higher dopamine release during winning. The evidence did not support this hypothesis either. Instead, dopaminergic coding of reward prediction and uncertainty might better account for dopamine dysfunctions in gambling disorder. Studies of reward prediction and reward uncertainty shows a sustained dopamine response towards stimuli with maximum uncertainty, which may explain the continued dopamine release and gambling despite losses in gambling disorder. The findings from the studies presented here are consistent with the notion of dopaminergic dysfunctions of reward prediction and reward uncertainty signals in gambling disorder. (shrink)
The claim that the disorganized subtype of schizophrenia results from glutamate hypofunction is enhanced by consideration of current subtypology of schizophrenia, symptom definition, interdependence of neurotransmitters, and the nature of the data needed to support the hypothesis. Careful specification clarifies the clinical reality of disorganization as a feature of schizophrenia and increases the utility of the subtype.
Many philosophers and psychologists now argue that emotions play a vital role in reasoning. This paper explores one particular way of elucidating how emotions help reason which may be dubbed ?the search hypothesis of emotion?. After outlining the search hypothesis of emotion and dispensing with a red herring that has marred previous statements of the hypothesis, I discuss two alternative readings of the search hypothesis. It is argued that the search hypothesis must be construed as (...) an account of what emotions typically do, rather than as a definition of emotion. Even as an account of what emotions typically do, the search hypothesis can only be evaluated in the context of a specific theory of what emotions are. 1 Introduction 2 The search hypothesis of emotion 3 A red herring: the frame problem 4 The search problem 5 Two readings of the search hypothesis 6 Two final remarks 7 Conclusion. (shrink)
I present the symbol grounding problem in the larger context of a materialist theory of content and then present two problems for causal, teleo-functional accounts of content. This leads to a distinction between two kinds of mental representations: presentations and symbols; only the latter are cognitive. Based on Milner and Goodale’s dual route model of vision, I posit the existence of precise interfaces between cognitive systems that are activated during object recognition. Interfaces are constructed as a child learns, and is (...) taught, how to interact with its environment; hence, interface structure has a social determinant essential for symbol grounding. Symbols are encoded in the brain to exploit these interfaces, by having projections to the interfaces that are activated by what they symbolise. I conclude by situating my proposal in the context of Harnad’s (1990) solution to the symbol grounding problem and responding to three standard objections. (shrink)
Drawing on previous models of anxiety, intermediate memory, the positive symptoms of schizophrenia, and goal-directed behaviour, a neuropsychological hypothesis is proposed for the generation of the contents of consciousness. It is suggested that these correspond to the outputs of a comparator that, on a moment-by-moment basis, compares the current state of the organism's perceptual world with a predicted state. An outline is given of the information-processing functions of the comparator system and of the neural systems which mediate them. (...) The hypothesis appears to be able to account for a number of key features of the contents of consciousness. However, it is argued that neitherthis nor any existing comparable hypothesis is yet able to explain why the brain should generate conscious experience of any kind at all. (shrink)
Several theories claim that dreaming is a random by-product of REM sleep physiology and that it does not serve any natural function. Phenomenal dream content, however, is not as disorganized as such views imply. The form and content of dreams is not random but organized and selective: during dreaming, the brain constructs a complex model of the world in which certain types of elements, when compared to waking life, are underrepresented whereas others are over represented. Furthermore, dream content is consistently (...) and powerfully modulated by certain types of waking experiences. On the basis of this evidence, I put forward the hypothesis that the biological function of dreaming is to simulate threatening events, and to rehearse threat perception and threat avoidance. To evaluate this hypothesis, we need to consider the original evolutionary context of dreaming and the possible traces it has left in the dream content of the present human population. In the ancestral environment human life was short and full of threats. Any behavioral advantage in dealing with highly dangerous events would have increased the probability of reproductive success. A dream-production mechanism that tends to select threatening waking events and simulate them over and over again in various combinations would have been valuable for the development and maintenance of threat-avoidance skills. Empirical evidence from normative dream content, children's dreams, recurrent dreams, nightmares, post traumatic dreams, and the dreams of hunter-gatherers indicates that our dream-production mechanisms are in fact specialized in the simulation of threatening events, and thus provides support to the threat simulation hypothesis of the function of dreaming. Key Words: dream content; dream function; evolution of consciousness; evolutionary psychology; fear; implicit learning; nightmares; rehearsal; REM; sleep; threat perception. (shrink)
Following Hume’s lead, Paul Draper argues that, given the biological role played by both pain and pleasure in goal-directed organic systems, the observed facts about pain and pleasure in the world are antecedently much more likely on the Hypothesis of Indifference than on theism. I examine one by one Draper’s arguments for this claim and show how they miss the mark.
Eugen Bleuler, in 1911, renamed the group of mental disorders with poor prognosis which Emil Kraepel in had called ``dementia praecox'' ``group of schizophrenias'',because for him the splitting of personality was the main symptom.Biographical, scientific and methodological influences on Bleuler's concept of schizophrenia are shown with special reference to Kraepelin and Freud.Bleuler was a passionate and very experienced clinician. He lived with his patients, taking care of them and writing down his observations. Methodologically he was an empiricist and an (...) eclecticist with a wide reading knowledge.In an impaired association of ideas, in disordered affectivity, in marked ambivalence and autism Bleuler saw the main symptoms of schizophrenia. For him these so-called pathological phenomena actually seemed to be only exaggerations of normal psychic functions. So there were only a quantitative, not a qualitative difference between schizophrenia and normal psychic processes and studies on schizophrenic ``pathology'' –seen as a disturbance, not as a disease – might analogously illustrate normal psychic reactions and vice versa.In etiology as well as in therapy Bleuler took into account psychological and (neuro)physiological(somatic) mechanisms – thus combining organicism and dynamic psychiatry and coming very close to modern concepts, e.g. the one of stress and vulnerability. Bleuler's main merit is the stressing of an idiographic ``understanding'' of the patient and a plausible and subtle explanation of schizophrenia which helped to reduce the alienation of the affected persons. (shrink)
Neurocognitive deficits in schizophrenia are thought to be stable trait markers that predate the illness and manifest in relatives of patients. Adolescence is the age of maximum vulnerability to the onset of schizophrenia and may be an opportune “window” to observe neurocognitive impairments close to but prior to the onset of psychosis. We reviewed the extant studies assessing neurocognitive deficits in young relatives at high risk (HR) for schizophrenia and their relation to brain structural alterations. We also (...) provide some additional data pertaining to the relation of these deficits to psychopathology and brain structural alterations from the Pittsburgh Risk Evaluation Program (PREP). Cognitive deficits are noted in the HR population, which are more severe in first-degree relatives compared to second-degree relatives and primarily involve psychomotor speed, memory, attention, reasoning, and social-cognition. Reduced general intelligence is also noted, although its relationship to these specific domains is underexplored. Premorbid cognitive deficits may be related to brain structural and functional abnormalities, underlining the neurobiological basis of this illness. Cognitive impairments might predict later emergence of psychopathology in at-risk subjects and may be targets of early remediation and preventive strategies. Although evidence for neurocognitive deficits in young relatives abounds, further studies on their structural underpinnings and on their candidate status as endophenotypes are needed. (shrink)
We demonstrate a hybrid machine learning method to classify schizophrenia patients and healthy controls, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data. The method consists of four stages: (1) SNPs with the most discriminating information between the healthy controls and schizophrenia patients are selected to construct a support vector machine ensemble (SNP-SVME). (2) Voxels in the fMRI map contributing to classification are selected to build another SVME (Voxel-SVME). (3) Components of fMRI activation obtained with (...) independent component analysis (ICA) are used to construct a single SVM classifier (ICA-SVMC). (4) The above three models are combined into a single module using a majority voting approach to make a final decision (Combined SNP-fMRI). The method was evaluated by a fully-validated leave-one-out method using 40 subjects (20 patients and 20 controls). The classification accuracy was: 0.74 for SNP-SVME, 0.82 for Voxel-SVME, 0.83 for ICA-SVMC, and 0.87 for Combined SNP-fMRI. Experimental results show that better classification accuracy was achieved by combining genetic and fMRI data than using either alone, indicating that genetic and brain function representing different, but partially complementary aspects, of schizophrenia etiopathology. This study suggests an effective way to reassess biological classification of individuals with schizophrenia, which is also potentially useful for identifying diagnostically important markers for the disorder. (shrink)
In the last half-century, human neuroscience methods provided a way to study schizophrenia in vivo, and established that it is associated with subtle abnormalities in brain structure and function. However, efforts to understand the neurobiological bases of the clinical symptoms that the diagnosis is based on have been largely unsuccessful. In this paper, we provide an overview of the conceptual and methodological obstacles that undermine efforts to link the severity of specific symptoms to specific neurobiological measures. These obstacles include (...) small samples, questionable reliability and validity of measurements, medication confounds, failure to distinguish state and trait effects, correlation-causation ambiguity, and the absence of compelling animal models of specific symptoms to test mechanistic hypotheses derived from brain-symptom correlations. We conclude with recommendations to promote progress in establishing brain-symptom relationships. (shrink)
This paper examines the justification for the hypothesis of extended cognition (HEC). HEC claims that human cognitive processes can, and often do, extend outside our heads to include objects in the environment. HEC has been justified by inference to the best explanation (IBE). Both advocates and critics of HEC claim that we should infer the truth value of HEC based on whether HEC makes a positive, or negative, explanatory contribution to cognitive science. I argue that IBE cannot play this (...) epistemic role. A serious rival to HEC exists with a differing truth value, and this invalidates IBEs for both the truth and falsity of HEC. Explanatory value to cognitive science cannot be used as a guide to the truth value of HEC. (shrink)
The ‘Knobe effect’ is the name given to the empirical finding that judgments about whether an action is intentional or not seem to depend on the moral valence of this action. To account for this phenomenon, Scaife and Webber have recently advanced the ‘Consideration Hypothesis’, according to which people’s ascriptions of intentionality are driven by whether they think the agent took the outcome in consideration when taking his decision. In this paper, I examine Scaife and Webber’s hypothesis and (...) conclude that it is supported neither by the existing literature nor by their own experiments, whose results I did not replicate, and that the ‘Consideration Hypothesis’ is not the best available account of the ‘Knobe Effect’. (shrink)
Although it could avoid some harmful effects of climate change, sulphate aerosol geoengineering (SAG), or injecting sulphate aerosols into the stratosphere in order to reflect incoming solar radiation, threatens substantial harm to humans and non-humans. I argue that SAG is prima facie ethically problematic from anthropocentric, animal liberationist, and biocentric perspectives. This might be taken to suggest that ethical evaluations of SAG can rely on Bryan Norton's convergence hypothesis, which predicts that anthropocentrists and non-anthropocentrists will agree to implement the (...) same or similar environmental policies. However, there are potential scenarios in which anthropocentrists and non-anthropocentrists would seem to diverge on whether a particular SAG policy ought to be implemented. This suggests that the convergence hypothesis should not be relied on in ethical evaluation of SAG. Instead, ethicists should consider the merits and deficiencies of both non-anthropocentric perspectives and the ethical evaluations of SAG such perspectives afford. (shrink)
In a recent paper, Dylan Evans proposed that emotions could help solve what has been known as ?the frame problem?. In the process, he first questioned the utility of using the frame problem as a framework. After tackling this issue, he provided an alternative terminology to the frame problem?termed ?the search hypothesis of emotion??in order to re-examine how emotions aid rational agents. His new terminology, however, opens itself to other critiques. While accepting the basic tenets of his analysis, I (...) question (i) whether a single search theory of emotion is adequate, and (ii) whether his theory would have been better termed ?the search hypothesis of feeling?. Finally, I extend some of the ideas developed in Evans' paper. Introduction Emotion, reason and ends The search hypothesis of emotion revisited Conclusion. (shrink)
This article describes the logical and rhetorical grounds for a multicultural pedagogy that teaches students the knowledge and skills needed to interact creatively in the public realm betwixt and between cultures. I begin by discussing the notion of incommensurability. I contend that this hypothesis was intended to perform a particular rhetorical task and that the assumption that it is descriptive of a condition to which intercultural interactions are necessarily subjected is an unwarranted extension of the hypothesis as originally (...) conceived. After discussing the hypothetical nature of the notion of incommensurability and its critical role within the discourse of the human sciences, the article examines the usefulness of utopian narratives as examples of incommensurable systems that can be put to pedagogical work. I argue that the comparative study of utopian narratives can provide insight into possible means of creating passageways that lead not from one bounded system to another, but rather to mutually generated and generative pluralistic public cultures in which new norms can be articulated, shared and potentially legitimised. What is crucial to the point I am trying to make is that 'incommensurability' was initially posed as a hypothesis that, while impossible to prove, still served a critical discursive or rhetorical function. This function is one that it can still serve and in an important educational manner, outside the discourse of the human sciences, within a larger, increasingly multicultural and global society. (shrink)
Some patients with schizophrenia are not told their diagnosis. The moral, clinical and practical issues involved in telling or not telling the patient are discussed. In some cases a relative is told the diagnosis but not the patient. The implications for the family and clinical outcome are outlined. A case history illustrating some of these issues is presented.
Multimodal brain imaging data have shown increasing utility in answering both scientifically interesting and clinically relevant questions. Each brain imaging technique provides a different view of brain function or structure, while multimodal fusion capitalizes on the strength of each and may uncover hidden relationships that can merge findings from separate neuroimaging studies. However, most current approaches have focused on pair-wise fusion and there is still relatively little work on N-way data fusion and examination of the relationships among multiple data types. (...) We recently developed an approach called “mCCA+jICA" as a novel multi-way fusion method which is able to investigate the disease risk factors that are either shared or distinct across multiple modalities as well as the full correspondence across modalities. In this paper, we applied this model to combine resting state fMRI (amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation, ALFF), grey matter density (GM) and DTI (fractional anisotropy, FA) data, in order to elucidate the abnormalities underlying schizophrenia patients (SZs, n=35) relative to healthy controls (HCs, n=28). Both modality-common and modality-unique abnormal regions were identified in SZs, which were then used for successful classification for 7 modality-combinations, showing the potential for a broad applicability of the mCCA+jICA model and its results. In addition, a pair of GM-DTI components showed significant correlation with the positive symptom subscale of Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), suggesting that gray matter density changes in default model network along with white matter disruption in anterior thalamic radiation are associated with increased positive PANSS. Findings suggest the DTI anisotropy changes in frontal lobe may relate to the corresponding functional/structural changes in prefrontal cortex and superior temporal gyrus that are thought to play a role in the clinical expression of schizophrenia. (shrink)
Schizophrenia, like other pathological conditions of mental life, has not been systematically included in the general study of consciousness. By focusing on aspects of chronic schizophrenia, we attempt to remedy this omission. Basic components of Husserl’s phenomenology (intentionality, synthesis, constitution, epoche, and unbuilding) are explicated and then employed in an account of chronic schizophrenia. In schizophrenic experience, basic constituents of reality are lost and the subject must try to explicitly re-constitute them. “Automatic mental life” is weakened such (...) that much of the world that is normally taken-for-granted cannot continue to be so. The subject must actively re-lay the ontological foundations of reality. (shrink)
b>. One major problem many hypotheses regarding the neural correlate of consciousness (NCC) face is what we might call “the why question”: _why _would this particular neural feature, rather than another, correlate with consciousness? The purpose of the present paper is to develop an NCC hypothesis that answers this question. The proposed hypothesis is inspired by the Cross-Order Integration (COI) theory of consciousness, according to which consciousness arises from the functional integration of a first-order representation of an external (...) stimulus and a second-order representation of that first-order representation. The proposal comes in two steps. The first step concerns the “general shape” of the NCC and can be directly derived from COI theory. The second step is a concrete hypothesis that can be arrived at by combining the general shape with empirical considerations. (shrink)
John Searle''s hypothesis of the Background seems to conflict with his initial representationalism according to which each Intentional state contains a particular content that determines its conditions of satisfaction. In Section I of this essay I expose Searle''s initial theory of Intentionality and relate it to Edmund Husserl''s earlier phenomenology. In Section II I make it clear that Searle''s introduction of the notion of Network, though indispensable, does not, by itself, force us to modify that initial theory. However, a (...) comparison of this notion to the notion of horizon from Husserl''s later phenomenology and an interpretation of Husserl''s conception of the determinable X as providing a solution to the problem of perceptual misidentification lead me to conclude that in his discussion of ''twin examples'' Searle had better modified his initial theory. Finally, I critically examine Searle''s claim that anyone who tries seriously to follow out the threads in the Network will eventually reach a bedrock of non-Intentional capacities. In Section III I show in detail, partly in a rather Husserlian vein, that Searle''s four official arguments for the Background thesis, though containing some very valuable contributions to a theory of linguistic skills, are not convincing at all if they are to be understood as going beyond the scope of (Hus)Searle''s ''content-cum-Network'' picture of Intentionality. The upshot of these considerations is that the Background thesis should be read as a thesis concerning the causal neurophysiological preconditions of human Intentionality rather than concerning the logical properties of Intentional states in general. Recently Searle himself has come to the same result, but he does not say for which reasons. The present essay makes it clear why Searle just had to arrive at this important result. (shrink)
Surveys in different countries (e.g. the UK, Belgium and The Netherlands) show a marked recent increase in the incidence of continuous deep sedation at the end of life (CDS). Several hypotheses can be formulated to explain the increasing performance of this practice. In this paper we focus on what we call the ‘natural death’ hypothesis, i.e. the hypothesis that acceptance of CDS has spread rapidly because death after CDS can be perceived as a ‘natural’ death by medical practitioners, (...) patients' relatives and patients.We attempt to show that the label ‘natural’ cannot be unproblematically applied to the nature of this end-of-life practice. We argue that the labeling of death following CDS as ‘natural’ death is related to a complex set of mechanisms which facilitate the use of this practice. However, our criticism does not preclude the view that CDS may be clinically and ethically justified in many cases. (shrink)
An evolutionary theory of schizophrenia needs to address all symptoms associated with the condition. Burns' framework could be extended in a way embracing behavioural signs such as catatonia. Burns' theory is, however, not specific to schizophrenia. Since no one single symptom exists that is pathognomonic for “schizophrenia,” an evolutionary proposal of psychiatric disorders raises the question whether our anachronistic psychiatric nosology warrants revision.
Genetically and neurodevelopmentally, there may be a thousand schizophrenias, yet there would be no schizophrenia at all without active contribution from all of us; none – outside the primitive processes that regulate our relationship with one another. In order to understand the nature of schizophrenia as it unfolds relatively uniformly in the social context, we need to depart from an evolutionarily more feasible understanding of society. (Published Online November 9 2006).
Many with schizophrenia find social interactions a profound and terrifying threat to their sense of self. To better understand this we draw upon dialogical models of the self that suggest that those with schizophrenia have difficulty sustaining dialogues among diverse aspects of self. Because interpersonal exchanges solicit and evoke movement among diverse aspects of self, many with schizophrenia may consequently find those exchanges overwhelming, resulting in despair, the sensation of fusion with another, and/or self-dissolution. In short, compromised (...) dialogical capacities may be a contributing factor to social dysfunction in schizophrenia. (shrink)
This paper explores the question concerning the relationship between basic and higher layers of experience and self-experience. The latter distinction implicitly presupposes the idea of a univocal foundation. After explaining the formal ontological law of foundation, an attempt is made to clarify how the idea of foundation may be suitable to understand the relationship among moments, or layers, of self-experience. To this aim, the phenomenological descriptions of self- and world-experience in dementia and schizophrenia are compared. The comparison between these (...) two, in many ways radically different, pathologies allows us to highlight both the potentialities and the limits of resorting to the foundational relationship for the description of lived experience. Taking the challenges coming from the description of dementia and schizophrenia into serious consideration, the meaning of the “stratified” account of self-experience will be eventually reassessed, and a way to complement the idea of foundation among layers will be proposed. (shrink)
This paper discusses the individuation of characters for the use asunits by geneticists at the beginning of the 20th century. Thediscussion involves the Presence and Absence Hypothesis as a case study. It issuggested that the gap between conceptual consideration and etiological factorsof individuating of characters is being handled by way of mutual adjustment.Confrontation of a suggested morphological unit character with experimentresults molded the final boundaries of it.
This commentary focuses on the stimulus-reinforcer hypothesis of resistance to change. The overall context of reinforcement can account for resistance to extinction. There are ways to systematically test the hypothesis that Pavlovian contingencies account for the behavioral “mass” of discriminated operant behavior.