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The Measure of MadnessPhilosophy of Mind, Cognitive Neuroscience, and Delusional Thought$
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Philip Gerrans

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780262027557

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262027557.001.0001

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Dreaming, Default Thinking, and Delusion

Dreaming, Default Thinking, and Delusion

(p.89) 5 Dreaming, Default Thinking, and Delusion
The Measure of Madness

Philip Gerrans

The MIT Press

This chapter examines the nature of default processing, with particular emphasis on its outputs in different modes: dreaming, mental time travel, and delusion. It explains how the similarity between dreaming and delusion results from the fact that they are both states characterized by activity in the default mode network unsupervised by decontextualized processes. It offers a mechanistic and a cognitive explanation of similarities and dissimilarities between delusions and dreams. The mechanistic explanation adapts the AIM (Activation, Information, Mode) model of dreams and delusions developed by Hobson and colleagues, whereas the cognitive explanation shows how automatic and controlled processes degrade in different ways when unsupervised in virtue of differences in cognitive architecture. The cognitive explanation distinguishes feature binding from context binding. The chapter considers how the phenomenology of dreaming, mental time travel, and delusion is affected by neurobiological processes and suggests that delusion is a mixed mode of cognition that accounts for its belief-like and non-belief-like properties. Finally, it presents a case study of delusions of misidentification.

Keywords:   default processing, dreaming, mental time travel, delusion, default mode network, dreams, feature binding, context binding, cognition, misidentification

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