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Psychological and Brain Sciences Colloquium: Bruce Cuthbert, NIMH

Friday, February 10, 2023 - 3:30pm
Psychological and Brain Sciences Building

Psychological and Brain Sciences Colloquium

Bruce Cuthbert, Head, Research Domain Criteria Initiative, NIMH

Research Domain Criteria: Toward Objective Measures for Precision Mental Health

Abstract: Mental disorders continue to be regarded as discrete categories that are defined almost exclusively in terms of presenting symptoms and signs. However, the 21st century has seen an increasing consensus that current nosologies hamper research and treatment due to a lack of validity. This has in turn resulted in extensive debate about new ways to conceptualize and study mental illness. The National Institute of Mental Health initiated the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) program in 2009 as a translational project to study psychopathology in terms of impairments in basic functions (such as cognitive control or reward valuation) as examined by multiple types of data. This talk will review the RDoC rationale and its principles, clarify some of the misconceptions, and present data that exemplify RDoC-oriented studies that integrate behavioral, biological, and self-report measures. New directions for the future will include computational analyses that involve both theory-driven studies of behavioral tasks and machine-learning algorithms for precision clinical phenotypes.