Schizophrenia in the 21st Century: Integration of Recent Research from Brain, Mind and Culture

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Length: 21 minutes

ISPS-US President, Brian  Koehler, PhD

An overview and attempted integration of current research and thinking on the schizophrenia group of disorders is presented from the perspectives of neuroscience, epidemiological and sociocultural research, as well as contemporary cognitive and psychoanalytic theories. Within the domain of neuroscience, the author highlights recent developments within neurogenetics, including the important emergent field of epigenetics; neurobiology; relevant social neuroscience and the author’s theory of the schizophrenias as a social-survival brain-mind disorder; as well as the relevance of research in developmental traumatolgy (e.g., the effects of profound stress and social isolation/defeat on the CNS) to the schizophrenias. Recent epidemiological and sociocultural research, especially on social factors demonstrated to be significant in the initiation, course and outcome of the schizophrenias, are presented, including a synopsis of data on recovery. Recent developments in the cognitive-behavioral models of schizophrenia formulated by the International CBT and Psychosis working group led by Aaron Beck are summarized. Lastly, the relational-existential model of psychoanalysis, particularly as formulated by co-founder of ISPS in 1956, Gaetano Benedetti, is discussed with an attempt at integration with relevant recent neuroscience and socio-cultural research.

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