The Cognitive Explanation


The Cognitive Explanation

The assumption is that mental disorders including schizophrenia are caused by "faulty" thinking. We are normally able to filter incoming stimuli and process them to extract meaning.

These filtering mechanisms and processing systems are defective in the brains of schizophrenia due to underlying physiological abnormalities.In a non-schizophrenic, the person is able to filter out the unwanted stimuli. Schizophrenics become overwhelmed with sensory informations that they are unable to process and interpret.

For example, if you were talking to somebody in a busy area you would be able to subconciously block out car noises and other people's conversations. People who suffer from schizophrenia are un able to do this.

Recap from biological explanations

The Ventral Striatum is believed to be involved in the anticipation of rewards.


Juckel et al (2006) measured activity levels of the VS in Sz's finding lower levels of activity than controls. A negative correlation between VS activity levels and the severity of negative symptoms. This may explain avolition (a negative symptom)

People suffering from Sz mistake their own thoughts for somebody else's; a misinterpretation to stimuli. This is caused by brain problems.

Frith et al (1992) indentified two kinds of dysfunctional thought processing: metarepresentation and central control

MetarepresentationIt is the ability to reflect on thoughts and behaviour which allows us insight our own intentions and goals, and to interpret


No comments have yet been made