Research Domain Criteria (RDoC)

The goal of this new manual, as with all previous editions, is to provide a common language for describing psychopathology. While DSM has been described as a “Bible” for the field, it is, at best, a dictionary, creating a set of labels and defining each. The strength of each of the editions of DSM has been “reliability” – each edition has ensured that clinicians use the same terms in the same ways. The weakness is its lack of validity. Unlike our definitions of ischemic heart disease, lymphoma, or AIDS, the DSM diagnoses are based on a consensus about clusters of clinical symptoms, not any objective laboratory measure. In the rest of medicine, this would be equivalent to creating diagnostic systems based on the nature of chest pain or the quality of fever. Indeed, symptom-based diagnosis, once common in other areas of medicine, has been largely replaced in the past half century as we have understood that symptoms alone rarely indicate the best choice of treatment.

Patients with mental disorders deserve better. NIMH has launched theResearch Domain Criteria (RDoC) project to transform diagnosis by incorporating genetics, imaging, cognitive science, and other levels of information to lay the foundation for a new classification system. Through a series of workshops over the past 18 months, we have tried to define several major categories for a new nosology (see below). This approach began with several assumptions:

  • A diagnostic approach based on the biology as well as the symptoms must not be constrained by the current DSM categories,
  • Mental disorders are biological disorders involving brain circuits that implicate specific domains of cognition, emotion, or behavior,
  • Each level of analysis needs to be understood across a dimension of function,
  • Mapping the cognitive, circuit, and genetic aspects of mental disorders will yield new and better targets for treatment.


DSM to be replaced with a matrix of quantifiable measures.

Folksonomies: psychology mental disorders dsm rdoc

mental disorders (0.949454 (negative:-0.663628)), current DSM categories (0.912089 (negative:-0.341360)), Research Domain Criteria (0.880008 (neutral:0.000000)), ischemic heart disease (0.843530 (negative:-0.693646)), objective laboratory measure (0.818228 (negative:-0.322078)), past half century (0.799686 (negative:-0.280584)), DSM diagnoses (0.789904 (negative:-0.340764)), quantifiable measures (0.686638 (neutral:0.000000)), previous editions (0.661632 (neutral:0.000000)), common language (0.651041 (neutral:0.000000)), new nosology (0.644231 (negative:-0.369740)), clinical symptoms (0.627598 (negative:-0.340764)), chest pain (0.625311 (negative:-0.641990)), diagnostic systems (0.622352 (negative:-0.641990)), cognitive science (0.620547 (neutral:0.000000)), symptom-based diagnosis (0.619703 (negative:-0.362827)), new classification (0.617675 (neutral:0.000000)), best choice (0.611691 (negative:-0.280584)), genetic aspects (0.610395 (negative:-0.566479)), major categories (0.608720 (negative:-0.369740)), better targets (0.608574 (negative:-0.566479)), biological disorders (0.607423 (negative:-0.618434)), brain circuits (0.604580 (negative:-0.618434)), specific domains (0.603350 (negative:-0.618434)), diagnostic approach (0.600926 (negative:-0.341360)), RDoC (0.562258 (neutral:0.000000)), medicine (0.474246 (negative:-0.300827)), treatment (0.471084 (negative:-0.423531)), psychopathology (0.460423 (neutral:0.000000)), weakness (0.456309 (negative:-0.845653))

DSM:Company (0.896733 (neutral:0.000000))

Psychology (0.969081): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Diagnosis (0.573278): dbpedia
Greek loanwords (0.550561): dbpedia
Definition (0.541577): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Cognition (0.498824): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Mind (0.494736): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Psychiatry (0.486231): website | dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Mental disorder (0.476840): dbpedia | freebase

 Director’s Blog: Transforming Diagnosis
Electronic/World Wide Web>Blog:  Insel, Thomas (April 29, 2013), Director’s Blog: Transforming Diagnosis, Retrieved on 2014-02-07
  • Source Material []
  • Folksonomies: psychology dsm


    07 FEB 2014

     DSM vs RDoC

    Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) > Similarity > The Problem with the DSM
    Two passages from different sources on the switch.
    Folksonomies: dsm rdoc
    Folksonomies: dsm rdoc