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In Search of MadnessSchizophrenia and Neuroscience$
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R. Walter Heinrichs

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780195122190

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195122190.001.0001

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The Nature of Symptoms

The Nature of Symptoms

In Search of Madness

R. Walter Heinrichs

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyzes the symptoms of schizophrenia, focusing on the “positive”triad of hallucinations, delusions, and thought disorder. Studies have shed light on the mental processes that mediate positive symptoms. The range of processes includes several forms of altered cognitive monitoring, the mind failing to supervise itself, plus a possible breakdown in attention. In addition, abnormally enhanced sensitivity to word meanings and relationships and a kind of impulsive tendency to construct meanings or make decisions too quickly appear to be involved in positive symptoms. Finally, some symptoms arise in conjunction with a bias in understanding the social world, a bias that places a negative value on the actions and motives of other people.

Keywords:   schizophrenia, hallucinations, delusions, thought disorder, positive symptoms, sensitivity

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