Innovations in the psychopathology of schizophrenia: a primer for busy clinicians

Peter Wilson, Clara Humpston, Rajan Nathan

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Significant developments in schizophrenia psychopathology are ready to be incorporated into clinical practice. These advances allow a way forward through the well-described challenges experienced with current diagnostic and psychopathological frameworks. This article discusses approaches that will enable clinicians to access a wider and richer spectrum of patient experience; describes process-based models of schizophrenia in the domains of both the brain and the mind; and considers how different levels of analysis might be linked via the predictive processing framework. Multiple levels of analysis provide different targets for varying modalities of treatment – dopamine blockade at the molecular level, psychological therapy at the level of the mind, and social interventions at the personal level. Psychiatry needs to align itself closer to neuroscientific research. It should move from a symptom-based understanding to a model based on process. That is – after having asked about a patient's symptoms and experience clinicians need to introduce steps involving a consideration of what might be the brain and mind processes underlying the experience.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
JournalBJPsych Advances
Issue number00
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2021


  • schizophrenia
  • psychopathology
  • phenomenology
  • predictive processing
  • neuroscience


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