Schizophrenia: A Matter of Perception?

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Schizophrenia: A Matter of Perception?

The brain fills the pieces of information transmitted from the sensory environment that are not there or missing. For example, the blind spot in our eyes have no sensory light receptors, hence images focused on that spot are not transmitted to the brain. In fact, a hole should exist in our visual perception from the images projected onto our blind spot. This does not happen as our brain fills in the spaces with ongoing patterns that fit the image of our vision. Also, what we see and what is interpreted from what is seen spreads across a broad spectra from one individual to another. This indicates that there is no real format by which to generalize different individual's perceptions. Every input from the sensory environment is formatted and placed into context by our brain. Our brain organizes each situation into a format that makes sense to our schemata. So what happens when one's train of thought is fragmented and one's brain is unable to organize these fragments into a comprehensible pattern? Imagine if at times, your experiences become a slide show, fragments of experiences that do not come together. This is, in fact, how many people suffering from schizophrenia describe their experiences (1). Have you ever had an experience or a vision that just does not make sense? Maybe you might not understand the cause and the outcome of a certain experience or situation, but every memory is placed into context. Our brain makes sure of this. So, when seemingly unrelated fragments of information are sent to the brain, it attempts to combine these fragments together into a most logical manner. Is it possible that the reason that schizophrenics have an impaired sense of reality is because their brains logic is askew?

Schizophrenia is one of the most severe psychopathologies present today. Its causes are still vague, and the symptoms vary across a large spectrum. However, two generalized grouped of symptoms have been identified for schizophrenics: positive symptoms, and negative symptoms. Negative symptoms include lack of activity, anhedonia, and loss of interest. Positive symptoms include disorganized speech, hallucinations, and delusions experiences (1).

Individuals with schizophrenia commonly experience a disorder in their perception. Their surroundings are unreal and their external sensory environment seems different from what they previously knew. In fact, their perceptions become derailed; misinterpreting situations and the chronology of events. They are unable to distinguish between reality and imaginary.

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