RDoC and shift of reference

Luis F S Castro-De-Araujo*, Neil Levy, Richard A A Kanaan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: This paper aims to analyse in a philosophically informed way the recent National Institute of Mental Health proposal for the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) framework. Conclusion: Current classification systems have helped unify psychiatry and the conditions that it is most concerned with. However, by relying too much on syndromes and symptoms, they too often do not define stable constructs. As a result, inclusions and removals from the manuals are not always backed by sound reasons. The RDoC framework is an important move towards ameliorating matters. This paper argues that it improves the current situation by re-referencing constructs to physical properties (biomarkers for disorders, for example), by allowing theoretical levels within the framework, and by treating psychiatry as a special case of the cognitive sciences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)470-472
Number of pages3
JournalAustralasian Psychiatry
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2016


  • Research Domain Criteria (RDoC)
  • classification
  • nosology
  • nosography
  • latent attributes
  • MIND


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