Research Topic

Mental Imagery in Clinical Disorders

About this Research Topic

Mental imagery is increasingly shown in the literature to play a key role in various psychological disorders. The exploration of mental imagery represents a new and important area within clinical psychology, but arguably one still in its infancy. While mental imagery has featured prominently in recent ...

Mental imagery is increasingly shown in the literature to play a key role in various psychological disorders. The exploration of mental imagery represents a new and important area within clinical psychology, but arguably one still in its infancy. While mental imagery has featured prominently in recent theoretical accounts of disorders as diverse as post-traumatic stress disorder, phobia, body dysmorphic disorder, mood disorders, and psychosis, there remains an insufficiently strong theoretical and methodological foundation to enable effective comparison of imagery across different disorders and across different domains. For example, we believe there are informative parallels that can be drawn between the literature on clinical disorders and current theoretical models that have assigned a functional role for intrusive imagery during craving and addiction. Further, mental imagery processes may also underlie the effectiveness of clinical interventions such as imagery re-scripting, imaginal exposure in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, schema-focused therapy, and cognitive bias modification training. In short, we believe there is a need for comparison of the role of imagery across different disorders, with the goal of establishing those common elements which are most relevant to investigating mental imagery in clinical psychology.

To this end our Research Topic
centres upon presenting cutting – edge papers that investigate the underlying mechanisms or treatment interventions associated with mental imagery in clinical disorders. A unique objective of the associated collection of articles will be to combine different perspectives from the field of clinical psychology with perspectives drawn from the wider literature on mental imagery.

We call for researchers to submit Original Research, Reviews, Mini-Reviews, Clinical Case Studies, Method, General Commentaries, Hypothesis & Theory, Perspectives, and Opinion articles that focus on the current state-of-the-art, challenges, and controversies within the Research topic area of mental imagery in clinical psychology. We particularly encourage articles on: (1) mental images and intrusive memories in post-traumatic stress disorder and other trauma-related conditions; (2) mental imagery during craving and addiction; (3) mental imagery in clinical populations, including but not limited to depression, social phobia, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders; (4) healthy population studies that have relevance to understanding mental imagery in clinical disorders.

We encourage submission of articles from authors with a wide range of expertise. Although the topic is primarily focused on psychology, psychiatry, and neuroscience, we will consider submissions from other disciplines if relevant to the topic area.


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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