2013年9月22日日曜日

Delusions and the Role of Beliefs in Perceptual Inference

Katharina Schmack, Ana Gomez-Carrillo de Castro, Marcus Rothkirch, Maria Sekutowicz, Hannes Rossler, John-Dylan Haynes, Andreas Heinz, Predrag Petrovic, and Philipp Sterzer
J. Neurosci. 2013;33 13701-13712
http://www.jneurosci.org/cgi/content/abstract/33/34/13701?etoc

「妄想」に関するfMRI実験。
知覚課題を用いて、妄想の神経基盤を探る。
「知覚」を司る脳領域と「信念/思い込み」を司る脳領域の機能的結合が強いと妄想が生じ易くなる。
研究テーマの設定と実験デザインがユニークで面白かった。

Delusions are unfounded yet tenacious beliefs and a symptom of psychotic disorder. Varying degrees of delusional ideation are also found in the healthy population. Here, we empirically validated a neurocognitive model that explains both the formation and the persistence of delusional beliefs in terms of altered perceptual inference. In a combined behavioral and functional neuroimaging study in healthy participants, we used ambiguous visual stimulation to probe the relationship between delusion-proneness and the effect of learned predictions on perception. Delusional ideation was associated with less perceptual stability, but a stronger belief-induced bias on perception, paralleled by enhanced functional connectivity between frontal areas that encoded beliefs and sensory areas that encoded perception. These findings suggest that weakened lower-level predictions that result in perceptual instability are implicated in the emergence of delusional beliefs. In contrast, stronger higher-level predictions that sculpt perception into conformity with beliefs might contribute to the tenacious persistence of delusional beliefs.

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