OPENDOT RESEARCH HAS DEVELOPED A NEW THEORY OF THE AETIOLOGY OF SCHIZOPHRENIA
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This paper proposes a new testable hypothesis about the evolutionary origins of schizophrenia. Specifically, we suggest that schizophrenia is the result of a faulty freezing response to fear signals, which in turn is due to a change in the degree to which caregivers express fear signals to infants. These fear signals involve both visual and olfactory elements, principally facial expressions and pheromones.
A NEW THEORY
Schizophrenia remains one of the great unsolved problems of modern psychiatry. Great progress has been made in understanding other mental disorders, such as phobias and autism, but schizophrenia remains obscure. Experts disagree about even the fundamental questions. Is it one disorder or many? How should we characterise the underlying deficits in cognitive terms? What are the causal factors responsible for the disorder?
Pheromones play a crucial role in configuring the infant brain. We argue that lack of exposure to certain pheromones is an important risk factor for schizophrenia. By ensuring that infants encounter the relevant pheromones, schizophrenia can be prevented.