A meta-psychiatric approach to the 'core' problem in schizophrenia
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Background: The lateralisation and disconnection hypotheses attempt to understand schizophrenia from a third person perspective. We hypothesised that these two phenomena may also affect the international schizophrenia research community.Methods: A whole population based, retrospective bibliometric cohort study employing abstracts presented at the International Congress on Schizophrenia Research, Biennial Winter Workshop on Schizophrenia, and ISPS between 1988 and 2004 (n = 10276), was employed. Functional lateralisation was assessed via the numbers of abstracts produced by the countries of the left and right global hemispheres, with connectivity estimated by crossreferencing abstract author lists.Results: The left hemisphere produced 6889 (67%) and the right 3387 (33%) of the abstracts (chi-square = 1193.46, p < 0.001), whilst fewer than 20% of the authors attending ICSR/BWWS had presented their work at the ISPS conferences, and vice versa.Conclusions: This international schizophrenia research community has been subject, at the meta-psychiatric level, to the same functional disorders that afflict those it seeks to study. From a second person perspective this implies that the supposedly objective and material findings of disorder in schizophrenia may be, in part, reflections or projections of the observing body.