ERPs and Psychopathology. Academic Article uri icon

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  • We have briefly covered important issues and considerations in four topic areas likely to be of use to the ERP researcher who is also interested in biological psychiatry. We cannot ignore diagnosis because of its basic role in the field of psychiatry. Although there are reliability problems, especially in the field of psychiatric diagnosis, ERPs may help in the painstaking task of validating diagnosis based on behavioral observation. In addition, the ERP researcher can use diagnosis to obtain potentially more homogeneous samples of patients so as to reduce between-subject error variance in studies. We have considered research areas like PET scan and CT scan which provide data of more anatomical precision than ERPs for deep neurological sites. While the potential may be there, it is essentially unrealized as yet. Finally, neurochemistry and psychopharmacology seem to be the areas most likely to bear fruit in the immediate future. If this potential is to be realized, it is necessary to formulate new questions and a new methodology to handle these questions. An important question, for example, is whether a biological profile is a more useful criterion than a behavioral profile for predicting response to pharmacological intervention. In biological psychiatry, this question is a human suffering issue of considerable importance.


  • Connolly, John

publication date

  • June 1984