Article published in:New Horizons in the Neuroscience of Consciousness
Edited by Elaine K. Perry, Daniel Collerton, Fiona E.N. LeBeau and Heather Ashton
[Advances in Consciousness Research 79] 2010
► pp. 187–200
Consciousness as the spin-off and schizophrenia as the price of language
Hearing “voices”, the experience of thoughts as not one’s own, and incoherent speech are symptoms of mental illness (usually termed “schizophrenia”). Here I argue that (1) the “torque” is the feature that defines the human brain as four chambered by comparison with the two chambers of the generalized mammalian brain, (2) by separating “thought” from speech production in the frontal lobes, and “meaning” from speech perception in occipito-parieto-temporal association cortex the torque thereby confers on the species the capacity for language, and (3) the phenomena of psychosis can be seen as “leakage” from one to another of the four quadrants of association cortex. Thus consciousness is the spin-off and schizophrenia is the price that Homo sapiens pays for language.
Published online: 28 October 2010