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Editorial: Research Domain Criteria (RDoC): a new psychiatric nosology whose time has not yet come

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In developing new ways of classifying mental disorders, RDoC is developing a new nosology, a new way of dividing nature at its seams. Given the NIMH influence on research agendas across the world, this scientific agenda will have important consequences for researchers and clinicians worldwide. Defining discrete neural systems and the behavioral and cognitive functions they subserve is scientifically important. Understanding how these systems relate to clinical problems, patient suffering, and improved treatments has immense potential practical value for clinical care worldwide. This Editorial places the RDoC framework in context and then sets out a series of conceptual, empirical, and developmental challenges for RDoC. Together these challenges suggest that RDoC is premature as a nosology and, as currently implemented, risks being reified and overly rigid in its application.
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Keywords: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM); Nosology; Research Domain Criteria (RDoC); behavioural; cognitive functions; developmental trajectories; neural systems

Document Type: Editorial

Publication date: July 1, 2015

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