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Disturbed ConsciousnessNew Essays on Psychopathology and Theories of Consciousness$
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Rocco J. Gennaro

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780262029346

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262029346.001.0001

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Passivity Experience in Schizophrenia

Passivity Experience in Schizophrenia

(p.325) 13 Passivity Experience in Schizophrenia
Disturbed Consciousness

Philip Gerrans

The MIT Press

Philip Gerrans first explains the “predictive coding conception of cognition” which treats the mind as a hierarchy of cognitive systems devoted to the cancellation of error signals. Although the deep consequences of this theory for understanding consciousness have not been fully explored, Andy Clark has suggested that the logical consequence of the predictive coding view is that intuitive distinctions between higher and lower level cognitive systems need to be rethought. This suggests that conscious experience itself produced by very low level sensory and perceptual processes should be at the mercy of beliefs, since those beliefs can ultimately cancel the prediction errors generated by those systems. Gerrans explores this idea in the context of explanations of the “sense of agency,” the phenomenologically-elusive experience of being the agent of an action. Much of the relevant data comes from the study of schizophrenic delusions of alien control that use predictive coding models to explain the role of correlated neural activation. Garrans argues that the sense of agency is not as vulnerable to context effects as Clark and others have argued.

Keywords:   Consciousness, Passivity Experience, Schizophrenia, Alien Control, Predictive Coding, Agency, Action, Andy Clark

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