The Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) Project
DSM-5 and RDoC: progress in psychiatry research?
Neuroscience studies into psychiatric disorders generally rely on disease definitions that are based on the influential Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the fifth edition of which (DSM-5) was released earlier this year. Designed as a purely diagnostic tool, the DSM considers different disorders as distinct entities. However, boundaries between disorders are often not as strict as the DSM suggests. To provide an alternative framework forresearch into psychiatric disorders, the US National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has recently introduced its ResearchDomain Criteria (RDoC) project. In the RDoC, five 'domains' each reflect a brain system in which functioning is impaired, to different degrees, in different psychiatric conditions. Nature Reviews Neuroscience asked six leading investigators for their thoughts on how DSM-5 and the RDoC will influence neuroscience research into psychiatric disorders. [Casey et al. (2013) Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 14:810-814.]
Constructing constructs for psychopathology: the NIMH research domain criteria.As a commentary for the special section on Reconceptualizing the Classification of Mental Disorders, this article begins with a description of the impetus for the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health's (NIMH) Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) initiative and provides an update of progress on that initiative to date. The commentary then engages the articles in this special section, beginning with a response to Berenbaum's concern that the RDoC approach to sorting constructs across multiple units of analysis espouses a de facto biological fundamentalism. This leads us to delineate the relationship between RDoC and the NIMH priorities relevant to this initiative. The commentary then considers how Patrick's iterative "construct-network" method can be applied to RDoC construct validation, highlighting several aspects that are particularly useful. One aspect of this work involves determining subject inclusion and exclusion criteria that provide an appropriate range of variance. Finally, this commentary considers the Bilder group's article, explicating the ways in which multilevel models can foster development of hypotheses and informatics approaches needed for further RDoC progress. [Cuthbert & Kozak (2013). J Abnorm Psychol, 122(3): 928-937.]
- Description of RDoC project at NIMH websiteDeveloping Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) to improve diagnosis and treatment of social deficits in psychiatric disorders: The Mirror Neuron System as a model. [Singh & Feifel (2013). Schizophr Res, Epub ahead of print]
- Disruptive Behavior Disorders: Taking an RDoC(ish) Approach. [Blair, et al. (2013). Curr Top Behav Neurosci, Epub ahead of print]