Topoi

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 97–114 | Cite as

Logic in the study of psychiatric disorders: executive function and rule-following

Article

Abstract

Executive function has become an important concept in explanations of psychiatric disorders, but we currently lack comprehensive models of normal executive function and of its malfunctions. Here we illustrate how defeasible logical analysis can aid progress in this area. We illustrate using autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as example disorders, and show how logical analysis reveals commonalities between linguistic and non-linguistic behaviours within each disorder, and how contrasting sub-components of executive function are involved across disorders. This analysis reveals how logical analysis is as applicable to fast, automatic and unconscious reasoning as it is to slow deliberate cogitation.

Keywords

Non-monotonic logic Executive function Autism ADHD 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Human Communication Research CentreEdinburgh UniversityEdinburghUK
  2. 2.Department of Philosophy, Faculty of HumanitiesUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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