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EB Ver Hoeve's picture

Purple Monsters with Green Faces

Last week we began to address schizophrenia, however, I have several unanswered questions. I have always been interested by schizophrenia and its implications in behavior and I feel that this is the class in which we can discuss it in a more meaningful way. At a very basic level we discussed how some part of the NS, which tries out things to say, normally sends a signal back to the I-functions saying, “ignore this”. As we discussed in the case of schizophrenia, if that corollary discharge was missing, we might begin to have auditory hallucinations.
But auditory hallucinations are many times combined with delusions and/or visual hallucinations. How are these separate disorders related and grouped under one name? Does the auditory hallucination cause the visual?
Another question that I think is really worth discussing is, why are the auditory hallucinations and the visual delusions typically morbid and scary? Instead of seeing purple monsters with green faces and hearing voices that tell you to kill, why don’t you see/hear pleasant things? And I don’t know, is that just a generalization I have? And even if it isn’t true in 100% of all cases, the answer to that question opens up the discussion of environmental factors. With symptoms of schizophrenia typically developing in early adulthood, how/does the environment contribute to schizophrenia; does it have any affect at all?
And what about the genetics behind it: what do you mean exactly when you say that the corollary discharge loop is missing. Was it ever there? And finally, last semester in Developmental Bio, we briefly discussed a possible linkage between cat litter and pregnancy as a possible cause of schizophrenia (I think this research is being done and the UChicago), have you heard anything about that?

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