The translational validation as novel approach to integration of neuroscience and psychiatry

Drozdstoj S. Stoyanov*, Rolf Dieter Stieglitz, Claudia Lenz, Stefan J. Borgwardt

*Corresponding author for this work
6 Citations (Scopus)


Contemporary psychopathology has adopted various approaches to establish its validity, such as content, criteria, convergent, divergent etc. validation procedures. However, regardless of the progress in neuroscience, it has not been incorporated yet in psychiatric diagnosis as a possible source of external validity. In this paper, we aim at defining the construct of translational validity, which may eventually bridge the two fields of inquiry separated by the explanatory gap.Argument Both modern clinical assessment tools and functional imaging are validated within their disciplinary domains: clinical inventories are validated with other clinical tests or interviews while neurobiological markers are validated against other biological measures. The currently employed experimental neuroimaging designs inert psychological visual stimuli and can serve only as neutral in terms of diagnosis emotional stimuli. This is to say that such stimuli have no diagnostic value and hence cannot relate or be embodied into validity operations between neuro-biological markers of disease and psychopathology. In the same way, most of the clinical psychopathological assessment tools are not underpinned with robust neuroimaging findings. Whenever any connections between the two types of measures are established, they represent mere statistical post hoc correlations. Therefore, they are not regarded as translation validity operations. Yet, they need convergent translational cross-validation in order to be integrated into psychiatric diagnosis. Translational validity, on the other hand, represents the kind of validation to relate the two domains by means of translation. We suggest that brain imaging should involve real-time rating with disorder-relevant clinical scales performed simultaneously with fMRI instead of the neutral picture stimuli. Conclusion The novel paradigm for translational cross-validation among methods of psychiatry and neuroscience can potentially contribute to the integration of the inter-disciplinary explanatory models in psychiatry.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNew Developments in Clinical Psychology Research
Number of pages14
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Publication date01.01.2015
ISBN (Print)9781634832236
ISBN (Electronic)9781634832564
Publication statusPublished - 01.01.2015


Dive into the research topics of 'The translational validation as novel approach to integration of neuroscience and psychiatry'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this