Modular Disjunction in Schizophrenia: A Framework for a Pathological Psychophysiology

  • John M. Cleghorn
  • Martin L. Albert
Part of the International Perspectives Series: Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience book series


This chapter is an attempt to synthesize contemporary research data from neurobiology, neuropsychology, and cognitive science for the purpose of understanding schizophrenic psychosis. Our principal conclusions constitute a framework for a pathological psychophysiology of schizophrenia. Because we consider variability or a lack of neurocognitive modulation to be a fundamental characteristic of schizophrenic behaviour, our framework focuses on explanations of this variability. We suggest that although individual modules of cognitive and emotional function may be intact in schizophrenia, messages are inappropriately sent to parts of the brain not specialized for the required information. Neural networks that form the substrate for cognitive or emotional modules are activated or inactivated in a disorganized or inappropriate temporal sequence, and, thus, desynchronization (“modular disjunction”) of widely distributed neural systems develops, causing the signs and symptoms of schizophrenic psychosis.


Frontal Lobe Schizophrenic Patient Auditory Hallucination Contingent Negative Variation Bioi Psychiatry 
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© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • John M. Cleghorn
  • Martin L. Albert

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