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Research Domain Criteria (RDoC), a National Institute of Mental Health initiative

02/01/2008 (Aprox)


The reason for such failures reside, partly at least, in the categories for which the biomarkers are being searched, which are those provided by the DSM and the ICD (the WHO’s International Classification of Diseases). Possibly there are no biomarkers for the symptom clusters these classifications identify as diagnostic categories. Hence the NIMH initiative, launched in 2011, to turn away from DSM categories and develop “Research Domain Criteria” (RDoC) aimed at transforming psychiatric diagnosis via the convergence of genetics, neuroimaging, and cognitive science (Insel et al. 2010; Insel 2013; Kapur, Phillips, and Insel 2012).


RDoC represent a new angle in the search for neurobiological markers but not a radical new departure. In fact, they maintain intact the established neurobiological view of mental disorder, with its focus on discrete biological mechanisms at the expense of a more integrated “ecosocial” approach (Kirmayer and Crafa 2014). In RDoC, biomarkers will no longer be coupled with DSM categories, but mental illnesses will remain defined as “biological disorders involving brain circuits that implicate specific domains of cognition, emotion, or behavior” (Insel 2013).

Vidal, Fernando and Ortega, Francisco. Being Brains: Making the Cerebral Subject (Forms of Living)....

Visit NIMH's website to learn more:

nimh.nih.gov/research-priorities/rdoc/

Read an article at the Psychiatry Times:

The NIMH Research Domain Criteria (RDoC): New Concepts for Mental Disorders

Introduction to RDoC
Facts and Myths About RDoC
Introduction to NIMH's Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) for Brain Research
NIMH Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) Initiative
Research Domain Criteria (RDoC): New Approaches to Diagnostics
Robyn Bluhm "RDoC as an ontology for psychiatry and neuroscience"
Finally, here's a list of all the articles mentioned by Vidal and Ortega in the excerpt above:

Insel, Thomas, et al. 2010. “Research Domain Criteria (RDoC): Toward a New Classification Framework...

Insel, Thomas R. 2013. “Transforming Diagnosis.”

Kapur, Shitij, Anthony G. Phillips, and Thomas Insel. 2012. “Why Has It Taken So Long for Biological...

You can also watch this TED Talk by Thomas Insel, who directed NIMH up until November 2015:
Thomas Insel: Toward a new understanding of mental illness

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Published in 31/01/2019

Updated in 19/02/2021

All events in the topic Chap. 3: Cerebralizing Distress:


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