Translating Neuroscience into Clinical Practice


The last decades have witnessed an impressive evolution of our understanding of the neurobiological basis of psychological processes. Methodological developments in the neurosciences brought the possibility of venturing into the black box and envisioning important neurobiological correlates of the human mind. The National Institute of Mental Health has recently acknowledged the importance of neuroscience research to mental health by endorsing the Research Domain Criteria Project (RDoC). This project involves inviting mental health experts to characterize psychological domains (e.g., negative valence systems, positive valence systems, cognitive systems, systems for social processes, arousal and regulatory systems) in different levels of analysis (e.g., genes; molecules; cells, circuits, physiology, behavior, self-reports, paradigms). The objective of the RDoC project is to move the field towards a transdiagnostic approach in which mental health issues are seen as alterations of biological and behavioral systems. Not clear from the RDoC matrix is how different units and domains interact to guide clinical practice. The model fails to address the environmental and developmental aspects associated with each component of the RDoC matrix. In order to design appropriate prevention and treatment interventions we must not only understand the neural correlates of psychological dysfunction but also identify the psychosocial mechanisms (i.e., environmental aspects) that positively or negatively influence neuroplasticity across various stages of development. In this presentation, we discuss how mental health professionals can bring neuroscience into their practice with clients across developmental life stages by utilizing interventions that promote positive brain plasticity and reverse the effects of negative plasticity. The video concludes with a short Q&A session with the presenter.



Duration (hrs): 1


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