Re: Parallel processing & subconscious [Was Re: Neurons vs. Transistor]

Gina Miller (
Fri, 6 Aug 1999 11:47:57 -0700

Finally, on a rather scarey note, if I
>continue to reinforce the entertainment of random subconscious
>thoughts, could this lead to schizophrenia?


Schizophrenia is a disease of neural connectivity caused by multiple factors that affect brain development.schizophrenia probably occurs as a consequence of multiple "hits," which include some combination of inherited genetic factors and external, nongenetic factors that affect the regulation and expression of genes governing brain function or that injure the brain directly. Some people may have a genetic predisposition that requires a convergence of additional factors to produce the expression of the disorder. This convergence results in abnormalities in brain development and maturation, a process that is ongoing during the first two decades of life. (6) The abnormalities are typically not focal but, rather, involve distributed neural circuits and neurotransmitter systems. When the connectivity and communication within neural circuitry are disrupted, patients have a variety of symptoms and impairments in cognition. Behind this diversity, however, is a final common pathway that defines the illness. For schizophrenia, it is misregulation of information processing in the brain. Ongoing etiologic studies must focus on finding the origins of abnormalities that lie beneath the clinical surface. The symptoms and signs of schizophrenia are very diverse, and they encompass the entire range of human mental activity. They include abnormalities in perception (hallucinations), inferential thinking (delusions), language (disorganized speech), social and motor behavior (disorganized behavior and abnormal or stereotyped movements), and initiation of goal-directed activity (avolition), as well as impoverishment of speech and mental creativity (alogia), blunting of emotional expression (flattened affect), and loss of the ability to experience pleasure (anhedonia). These symptoms and signs occur in patterns that may not overlap; one patient may have hallucinations and affective flattening, whereas another has disorganized speech and avolition. The diversity and nonoverlapping pattern of symptoms and signs suggest a more basic and unifying problem: abnormalities in neural circuits and fundamental cognitive mechanisms.
Genetically, schizophrenia resembles other complex illnesses, such as diabetes mellitus, in that it is nonmendelian, probably polygenic, and probably multifactorial. Recent linkage, association, and candidate-gene studies suggest multiple susceptibility loci, including some on chromosomes 6, 8, and 22.
. Other possible nongenetic factors contributing to increased risk include the effects of poor nutrition on fetal and childhood brain development, exposure to toxins that damage neurons or affect neurotransmitter systems (e.g., alcohol, amphetamines, and retinoids), and exposure to radiation that might induce mutations.

*from The New England Journal of Medicine

Therefore, the point is, although not every case is genetic (alternately being contaminated), I would recognize that this is less a state of mind and more a disease. Further more, "random subconscious thoughts reinforced for entertainment" I can substitute with diction as ~creativity.