Free Content Cells, Circuits, and Syndromes: A Critical Commentary on the NIMH Research Domain Criteria Project

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Abstract:

The US National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has recently declared a new research program for psychiatry, the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC), as the successor of the long-standing Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) diagnostic program. However, the new program is based on a series of assumptions that, on analysis, lack any formal scientific standing. Essentially, as presently conceptualized, the RDoC program is no more than ideology masquerading as science, and thus cannot achieve its stated goals. It is argued that the program will lead psychiatry into intellectually sterile areas because it is in fact the wrong research program for the present state of our knowledge.

Keywords: NIMH; PHILOSOPHY OF PSYCHIATRY; PSEUDOSCIENCE; RDOC

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1891/1559-4343.13.3.229

Publication date: December 1, 2011

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