The coherence network

The coherence network consists of a collection of beliefs that cohere to one another and can be subsumed under the same category. For example, an individual has a number of unpleasant experiences in his family and hears from someone else that members of his family seem to dislike him. The conclusion, which binds together the various beliefs, is “my family dislikes me.” The correspondence system is more reality based and relies more on realistic observations than on inferences and interpretations. Thus, if the family members act friendly over a period of time, and if the over-riding belief “they don’t like me” is not too strong, then this belief can be deactivated, only to be reactivated at a later date, if some kind of unfriendliness appears again.

In schizophrenia, however, paranoid delusions can start up and be elaborated in imagination and fantasy. The question then arises: Why doesn’t the correspondence network impose a corrective reality? The reason for this seems to be that the connection between the reality organization/network and the coherence network is broken. The coherence network seems to reside in the default network because imagination and fantastic elaboration, which are components of the default network, tend to take over.

We generally believe the default network may be the resting place for coherent theory. By coherence we mean a medley of beliefs/inferences that have the same theme such as “people are persecuting me.” Ordinarily, this network is tied in with other networks, which can serve as reality testers. However, the connection is broken in schizophrenia. Thus, the term schizophrenia: split mind. Note that only the delusional ideas that have a breach in connection with the correspondence network.