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    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Bortolotti, Lisa and Miyazono, Kengo 2016. The Ethics of Delusional Belief. Erkenntnis, Vol. 81, Issue. 2, p. 275.

    Fineberg, S. K. and Corlett, P. R. 2016. The doxastic shear pin: delusions as errors of learning and memory. Cognitive Neuropsychiatry, Vol. 21, Issue. 1, p. 73.

    López-Silva, Pablo 2016. The unity of consciousness in pre-psychotic states. A phenomenological analysis / La unidad de la conciencia en estados pre-psicóticos. Un análisis fenomenológico. Estudios de Psicología, Vol. 37, Issue. 1, p. 1.

    Bortolotti, Lisa 2015. Epistemic Benefits of Elaborated and Systematized Delusions in Schizophrenia. The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, p. axv024.

    Mishara, Aaron L. and Sterzer, Philipp 2015. PhenomenologyisBayesian in its application to delusions. World Psychiatry, Vol. 14, Issue. 2, p. 185.

    Miyazono, Kengo 2015. Delusions as harmful malfunctioning beliefs. Consciousness and Cognition, Vol. 33, p. 561.

    Fulford, Kenneth W.M. Bortolotti, Lisa and Broome, Matthew 2014. Taking the long view: an emerging framework for translational psychiatric science. World Psychiatry, Vol. 13, Issue. 2, p. 110.

    Mishara, A. L. and Fusar-Poli, P. 2013. The Phenomenology and Neurobiology of Delusion Formation During Psychosis Onset: Jaspers, Truman Symptoms, and Aberrant Salience. Schizophrenia Bulletin, Vol. 39, Issue. 2, p. 278.

    Schlimme, Jann E 2013. Is acting on delusions autonomous?. Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine, Vol. 8, Issue. 1, p. 14.

    MCKAY, RYAN 2012. Delusional Inference. Mind & Language, Vol. 27, Issue. 3, p. 330.

    Radden, Jennifer 2012. Vorhersagefehler und Gehirnverletzungen. Zwei-Faktoren-Theorien über Wahnvorstellungen. Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie, Vol. 60, Issue. 6, p. 903.

    Corlett, P.R. Taylor, J.R. Wang, X.-J. Fletcher, P.C. and Krystal, J.H. 2010. Toward a neurobiology of delusions. Progress in Neurobiology, Vol. 92, Issue. 3, p. 345.


Are delusions biologically adaptive? Salvaging the doxastic shear pin

  • Aaron L. Mishara (a1) (a2) and Phil Corlett (a1) (a3)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 January 2010

In their target article, McKay & Dennett (M&D) conclude that only “positive illusions” are adaptive misbeliefs. Relying on overly strict conceptual schisms (deficit vs. motivational, functional vs. organic, perception vs. belief), they prematurely discount delusions as biologically adaptive. In contrast to their view that “motivation” plays a psychological but not a biological function in a two-factor model of the forming and maintenance of delusions, we propose a single impairment in prediction-error–driven (i.e., motivational) learning in three stages in which delusions play a biologically adaptive role.

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P. R. Corlett , J. K. Krystal , J. R. Taylor & P. C. Fletcher (2009b) Why do delusions persist? Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 3. Available at:

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Behavioral and Brain Sciences
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