Re: paranoia

Anders Sandberg (
10 Sep 1997 10:09:54 +0200 (Anton Sherwood) writes:

> I've been wondering whether paranoia can be defined, at least
> in part, as abnormally high sensitivity of the pattern-detecting
> faculty; and if so, whether it can be detected by asking the
> subject to find patterns in random dots.

I think this is reasonable. I seem to recall that schizophrenia is
correlated with/cause by (pick your favorite) excess levels of
dopamine. It doesn't appear that unlikely that the paranoid symptoms
are caused by pattern-detection running wild, and the inhibition
which usually removes unfit patterns like "The British royal family
lives next door and plots against my life" isn't effective enough.

I think pattern finding in random dots likely would correlate to
paranoia, but also to hallucinations. Paranoia seems to involve
an emotional component, likely a limbic fear program that makes
us more attentive to perceived threats.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y