ISSN 2043-8087
Journal of Experimental Psychopathology
 Volume 3, Issue 4, 552-571, 2012
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Multi-level models of information processing, and their application to psychosis

Charles Heriot-Maitland
University of Oxford. UK.

Volume 3, Issue 4, 2012, Pages 552-571

Multi-level models have been developed to illustrate the mind's processing of qualitatively different types of information, and therefore provide a useful tool for exploring the actions and interactions of different processing levels within a single theoretical framework. This paper firstly reviews a selection of multi-level models, and then constructs a detailed rationale for applying a multi-level framework to psychosis. The argument draws on a wide psychosis literature, in the areas of positive symptoms, subjective phenomena, risk factors, and cognitive phenomena. In doing so, the discussion highlights some limitations of current (single-level) cognitive models of psychosis, and argues that a multi-level framework not only offers enhanced explanatory power, but also facilitates an integration of the evidence accumulated in different areas of psychosis research. Implications of a multi-level approach are discussed with regards to understanding the 'psychotic-like' experiences of both clinical and non-clinical populations. In particular, the roles of emotional meaning and function of psychotic phenomena are emphasised, and the clinical therapeutic tenet of normalisation is encouraged.

Table of Contents
Multi-level models of information processing
 Perceptual motor theory
 Discussion and synthesis
Applying a multi-level framework to psychosis
 Current cognitive approach to psychosis
 Previous multi-level applications to psychosis
 Rationale for multi-level approach to psychosis
  Positive symptoms
  Subjective phenomena
  Risk factors
  Cognitive phenomena
Implications for clinical and non-clinical populations

Correspondence to
Dr Charles Heriot-Maitland, Oxford Doctoral Course in Clinical Psychology, Isis Education Centre, Warneford Hospital, Oxford OX3 7JX, UK.

Psychosis; cognitive theory; multi-level; information processing

Received 8 Nov 2010; Revised 10 Apr 2011; Accepted 29 Jul 2011; In Press 12 Dec 2011

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