Schizophrenia is a disorder of higher order hierarchical processing.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder in which the patient manifests with auditory hallucinations, paranoid or bizarre delusions, and disorganized speech and thinking. It is associated with significant social dysfunction. There are many hypotheses regarding schizophrenia. Most of these focus on schizophrenia as a manifestation of abnormalities from genetic [Mulle JG. Genomic structural variation and schizophrenia. Curr Psychiatry Rep 2008;10(2):171-7], viral [Fruntes V, Limosin F. Schizophrenia and viral infection during neurodevelopment: a pathogenesis model? Med Sci Monit 2008;14(6):RA71-7], neurochemical [e.g. dopamine (Lewis DA, Akil M. Cortical dopamine in schizophrenia: strategies for postmortem studies. J Psychiatr Res 1997;31(2):175-95) or interactions between neurotransmitters (Duncan GE, Sheitman BB, Lieberman JA. An integrated view of pathophysiological models of schizophrenia. Brain Res Brain Res Rev 1999;29(2):250-64)] or brain structural [Kotrla KJ, Weinberger DR. Brain imaging in schizophrenia. Annu Rev Med 1995;46:113-22] origins. Most of these hypotheses do not account for how or why these presumed causes lead to the manifestations of schizophrenia. We argue that brain structure and function is compatible with a hierarchical processing structure that forms the basis for perception and thought in healthy humans. We propose that perturbations of the types listed above lead to disruption of higher levels of perception and hierarchical temporal processing by the brain and that this constitutes the core deficit in schizophrenia. We present evidence that this model explains many of the features of schizophrenia and we make a series of predictions about schizophrenia.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Krishnan, RR; Keefe, R; Kraus, M

Published Date

  • June 2009

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 72 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 740 - 744

PubMed ID

  • 19231093

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1532-2777

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.mehy.2008.12.039


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States