Review of Philosophy and Psychology

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 401–418 | Cite as

Depersonalization Disorder, Affective Processing and Predictive Coding

  • Philip GerransEmail author


A flood of new multidisciplinary work on the causes of depersonalization disorder (DPD) provides a new way to think about the feeling that experiences “belong” to the self. In this paper I argue that this feeling, baptized “mineness”(Billon 2013, 2018a, b) or “subjective presence” (Seth, Trends in Cognitive Sciences 17(11): 565–573, 2013) emerges from a multilevel interaction between emotional, affective and cognitive processing. The “self” to which experience is attributed is a predictive model made by the mind to explain the modulation of affect as the organism progresses through the world. When the world no longer produces predicted affect the organism needs to explain this unpredicted absence of feeling. It is important to this account that cognition and perception are otherwise intact. Consequently the mind’s representation of the world and its emotionally salient properties are unchanged, leading the mind to predict a characteristic affective response. When that prediction is not fulfilled the organisms feels as if she is no longer present in experience. This is reported at the as feeling of depersonalization.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia

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