In his recent essays Bennett reviewed the potential role of synapse pathology in schizophrenia. Following on from Selemon and Goldman-Rakic’s neuropil hypothesis of schizophrenia, Bennett argued that abnormal synapse formation and regression during childhood and adolescence results in deafferentation in sensory cortices, which, in turn, results in increased spontaneous endogenous neural activity in psychosis. He further argued that these abnormal neural activities give rise to hallucinations due to the lack of corollary discharge; that is, sending an efferent copy from frontal pre-motor areas to sensory cortices, thus allowing an individual to identify such neural activity as self-generated percepts and, in more general terms, gain ‘self awareness’. A failure of this feedforward mechanism inevitably results in a ‘loss of ego boundaries’, a key syndrome of schizophrenia.
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry Vol. 43, Issue 4, p. 393-394