“Sensory processing deficits, first investigated by Kraepelin and Bleuler as possible pathophysiological mechanisms in schizophrenia, are now being recharacterized in the context of our current understanding of the molecular and neurobiological brain mechanisms involved. The National Institute of Mental Health Research Domain Criteria position these deficits as intermediaries between molecular and cellular mechanisms and clinical symptoms of schizophrenia, such as hallucinations. … Deficits in sensory processing underlie more complex cognitive dysfunction and are in turn affected by higher-level cognitive difficulties. These deficits are now being used to identify genes involved in familial transmission of schizophrenia and to monitor potentially therapeutic drug effects for both treatment and prevention. This research also provides a clinical reminder that patients’ sensory perception of the surrounding world, even during treatment sessions, may differ considerably from others’ perceptions. A person’s ability to understand and interact effectively with the surrounding world ultimately depends on an underlying sensory experience of it.”

Javitt DC and Freedman R: Sensory Processing Dysfunction in the Personal Experience and Neuronal Machinery of Schizophrenia. American Journal of Psychiatry [ Epub ahead of print, November 17, 2014; DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2014.13121691 ]


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