Brain Signaling in Psychiatric Disorders: What Can They Tell Us in the Absence of Behavioral Differences?


This is a commentary on the often-observed phenomenon of observing task-based brain signaling differences between clinical populations and healthy control participants in the absence of any behavioral decrements in the clinical group. We offer several explanations for why brain-based differences amid normative performance may be of interest to researchers and clinicians. First, neural processing in the clinical group may not be as efficient as that in the control group. Second, differences in activation could reveal important differences in the cognition behind the (normative) behavior. Third, differences in activation may be prognostic biomarkers of injury or decline. In addition, we contend that similar behavior between groups is important in properly interpreting brain data. Finally, we offer caveats and future directions to further clarify brain mechanisms underlying behavior in clinical populations.

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Gilman, J. , Bjork, J. and Wilens, T. (2015) Brain Signaling in Psychiatric Disorders: What Can They Tell Us in the Absence of Behavioral Differences?. Journal of Behavioral and Brain Science, 5, 333-337. doi: 10.4236/jbbs.2015.58033.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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