On the distinction between monothematic and polythematic delusions

Max Coltheart*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    22 Citations (Scopus)


    Some delusional patients exhibit only a single delusional belief (or several delusional beliefs concerning a single theme): this is monothematic delusion. It contrasts with polythematic delusion, where the patient exhibits a variety of delusions concerning a variety of different themes. The neuropsychological bases of various monothematic delusions are rather well understood, and there is a well-worked-out general neuropsychological theory of monothematic delusion, the two-factor theory. Whether polythematic delusion might be explained in a similar way is an open question: I sketch some possible ways in which a comparable two-factor account might be developed for polythematic ('psychiatric') delusional conditions such as delusions of reference.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)103-112
    Number of pages10
    JournalMind and Language
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013


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