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Memories are not formed in isolation. They are associated and organized into relational knowledge structures that allow coherent thought. Failure to express such coherent thought is a key hallmark of Schizophrenia. Here we explore the hypothesis that thought disorder arises from disorganized Hippocampal cognitive maps. In doing so, we combine insights from two key lines of investigation, one concerning the neural signatures of cognitive mapping, and another that seeks to understand lower-level cellular mechanisms of cognition within a dynamical systems framework. Specifically, we propose that multiple distinct pathological pathways converge on the shallowing of Hippocampal attractors, giving rise to disorganized Hippocampal cognitive maps and driving conceptual disorganization. We discuss the available evidence at the computational, behavioural, network, and cellular levels. We also outline testable predictions from this framework, including how it could unify major chemical and psychological theories of schizophrenia and how it can provide a rationale for understanding the aetiology and treatment of the disease.

Original publication




Journal article


Schizophrenia (Heidelb)

Publication Date