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Article

Affect-Logic, Embodiment, Synergetics, and the Free Energy Principle: New Approaches to the Understanding and Treatment of Schizophrenia

1
Formerly Medical Director of the Social-Psychiatric University Hospital, CH-3010 Bern, Switzerland
2
Department of Experimental Psychology, University Hospital of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University of Bern, CH-3060 Bern, Switzerland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Andrei Khrennikov
Entropy 2021, 23(12), 1619; https://doi.org/10.3390/e23121619
Received: 12 November 2021 / Revised: 24 November 2021 / Accepted: 29 November 2021 / Published: 1 December 2021
This theoretical paper explores the affect-logic approach to schizophrenia in light of the general complexity theories of cognition: embodied cognition, Haken’s synergetics, and Friston’s free energy principle. According to affect-logic, the mental apparatus is an embodied system open to its environment, driven by bioenergetic inputs of emotions. Emotions are rooted in goal-directed embodied states selected by evolutionary pressure for coping with specific situations such as fight, flight, attachment, and others. According to synergetics, nonlinear bifurcations and the emergence of new global patterns occur in open systems when control parameters reach a critical level. Applied to the emergence of psychotic states, synergetics and the proposed energetic understanding of emotions lead to the hypothesis that critical levels of emotional tension may be responsible for the transition from normal to psychotic modes of functioning in vulnerable individuals. In addition, the free energy principle through learning suggests that psychotic symptoms correspond to alternative modes of minimizing free energy, which then entails distorted perceptions of the body, self, and reality. This synthetic formulation has implications for novel therapeutic and preventive strategies in the treatment of psychoses, among these are milieu-therapeutic approaches of the Soteria type that focus on a sustained reduction of emotional tension and phenomenologically oriented methods for improving the perception of body, self, and reality. View Full-Text
Keywords: schizophrenia; phase transition; emotions; embodiment; self-organization schizophrenia; phase transition; emotions; embodiment; self-organization
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ciompi, L.; Tschacher, W. Affect-Logic, Embodiment, Synergetics, and the Free Energy Principle: New Approaches to the Understanding and Treatment of Schizophrenia. Entropy 2021, 23, 1619. https://doi.org/10.3390/e23121619

AMA Style

Ciompi L, Tschacher W. Affect-Logic, Embodiment, Synergetics, and the Free Energy Principle: New Approaches to the Understanding and Treatment of Schizophrenia. Entropy. 2021; 23(12):1619. https://doi.org/10.3390/e23121619

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ciompi, Luc, and Wolfgang Tschacher. 2021. "Affect-Logic, Embodiment, Synergetics, and the Free Energy Principle: New Approaches to the Understanding and Treatment of Schizophrenia" Entropy 23, no. 12: 1619. https://doi.org/10.3390/e23121619

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