There is a recent article on Big Think, What does schizophrenia feel like?, stating that, “What characterizes schizophrenia is experiencing hallucinations: perceptions that appear real but are created by the mind. A hallucination seems the same as all other, real, sensory experiences. The most common kind of hallucination is auditory: hearing voices. At its most advanced (and if left untreated), schizophrenia can lead to visual hallucinations: a stage that is sometimes labeled “psychosis.” As with hearing voices, the content of these hallucinations is hugely variable.”
Schizophrenia is known as a disease of the mind. Delusions, variations of hallucinations, paranoia, psychosis and so forth are also of the mind. There is a key problem of schizophrenia aside those categories, losing a part of the self, the sense of self, subjective experience or the awareness of being.
Subjective experience is normally present across situations, like the taste of something, the smell of something else and so on. The self or subjective experience is also on the mind, so where might it be?
There is a recent paper that proposed that the center for the self in the brain is the anterior precuneus (aPCu). This could be a major center for self in prioritization. But it can be postulated that the sense of self is also available in pre-prioritization, for every mind process. This is what makes an individual’s pulse, audible—at times—feel like it is of the individual.
Conceptually, across mind processes, the location of the sense of self has a point for access, where control is possible. Whatever can be controlled by the mind is driven from the spot of the sense of self. The action can be prioritized, but the sense of self may not.
This access can be used to describe free will. Or, free will can be defined as access to the some points of sense of self in mind interactions. There is no access to all spots of the sense of self on the mind, limiting what can be controlled, but the sense of self is always present, including in automatic states, to low degrees.
The self, even in pre-prioritization, is useful for mental order. It is not impossible to have delusional thoughts or hallucinations before sleeping or after waking up. However, the sense of self for control can discard those by going to other parts of the mind to know what those are, to prevent acting on them.
This free will makes it possible to avoid shameful acts that may result in letting the self down [and knowing] or loved ones. It also visits and revisits where consequences are on the mind, not to do some stuff.
For an individual that is living with schizophrenia, there is some loss with the sense of self, especially in areas of thought. This sometimes makes thoughts free to roam, with little basis in reality.
But how can the mind be modeled, given that the mind, conceptually, is the collection of all the electrical and chemical messages of nerve cells, their features and interactions?
The components of the human mind are the electrical and chemical signals of nerve cells, since they are involved in all processes including thoughts, feelings, emotions, modulations, memories, sensations, perceptions and so forth.
If electrical signals and quantities and chemical signals are properties, then the summation of all quantities and properties on the mind is 1.
q + p = 1
Another way of expressing this is to look at the labeled divisions of mind, with their sub-divisions and express as equal to 1.
t + M + F + E = 1
where M is memory, with sensations, perceptions, intelligence, creativity and so forth. Where F is feelings, with pain, thirst and so forth. Where E is emotions, with delight, anger and so forth. t is thought as the dominant form of transport on the mind.
All mind processes emerge from similar mechanisms, the strikes of sets of electrical impulses on sets of chemical impulses. In those interactions, there are specifications that make a taste different from smell, or a feeling from an emotion, and so on.
There are also features of quantities and properties. They include splits, sequences, a principal spot, thick and thin shapes, bounce points, prioritization and pre-prioritization, rotations and drifts or stairs.
The self is found within the stairs or drifts of properties.
principal spot = a
pre-prioritized interaction = r
prioritized interaction = i
splits = x
sequences = c
sense of self = s
a = i – x + r – c – s
There are range of value for some, which can be used to calculate others, in their moment-to-moment case, for delusion, paranoia and hallucination. There is also the sense of self, whose estimates in hundreds of ways can be useful to place therapy to drive recovery, for many. This is possible in an era of LLMs, against schizophrenia.
David Stephen does research in theoretical neuroscience. He was a visiting scholar in medical entomology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, UIUC. He did research in computer vision at Universitat Rovira i Virgili, URV, Tarragona.