Neural network mimics schizophrenia-like dopamine release in the brain (The Dana Foundation Website – 3 August 2011)
A neural network suggests that "hyper-learning," or a heightened release of dopamine in the brain that muddles the way schizophrenics remember language and events, may give us a better understanding of the factors leading to psychosis.
Schizophrenia is a psychiatric disorder best known by its intense behavioral symptoms. Novels and television shows have well characterized the more obvious issues like auditory hallucinations, paranoid delusions, and disjointed patterns of thinking. To date, however, neuroscientists have been unable to fit this diverse group of symptoms—as well as others like lack of affect, disorganized speech, and cognitive decline—into a single, cohesive theory that can explain both the cause and the development of the disorder. Researchers from the University of Texas at Austin and Yale University hope that the use of a neural network nicknamed DISCERN may offer better insight into how problems in learning and excess dopamine release can confuse the way schizophrenics remember language and events, eventually building up to psychosis…
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