Aspects of Piaget’s cognitive developmental psychology and neurobiology of psychotic disorders – An integrative model
Review articleOpen access
2008/09/01 Full-length article DOI: 10.1016/j.mehy.2008.03.042
Journal: Medical Hypotheses
SummaryPsychological, neurobiological and neurodevelopmental approaches have frequently been used to provide pathogenic concepts on psychotic disorders. However, aspects of cognitive developmental psychology have hardly been considered in current models. Using a hypothesis-generating approach an integration of these concepts was conducted. According to Piaget (1896–1980), assimilation and accommodation as forms of maintenance and modification of cognitive schemata represent fundamental processes of the brain. In general, based on the perceived input stimuli, cognitive schemata are developed resulting in a conception of the world, the realistic validity and the actuality of which is still being controlled and modified by cognitive adjustment processes. In psychotic disorders, however, a disproportion of environmental demands and the ability to activate required neuronal adaptation processes occurs. We therefore hypothesize a failure of the adjustment of real and requested output patterns. As a consequence autonomous cognitive schemata are generated, which fail to adjust with reality resulting in psychotic symptomatology. Neurobiological, especially neuromodulatory and neuroplastic processes play a central role in these perceptive and cognitive processes. In conclusion, integration of cognitive developmental psychology into the existing pathogenic concepts of psychotic disorders leads to interesting insights into basic disease mechanisms and also guides future research in the cognitive neuroscience of such disorders.
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