Research Topic

At Risk for Neuropsychiatric Disorders: An Affective Neuroscience Approach to Understanding the Spectrum

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Neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, and other mental disorders constitute about 13% of the global burden of disease surpassing both cardiovascular disease and cancer (NATURE, 2012 July 7 issue). The total cost worldwide of these diseases is estimated to exceed 100 ...

Neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, and other mental disorders constitute about 13% of the global burden of disease surpassing both cardiovascular disease and cancer (NATURE, 2012 July 7 issue). The total cost worldwide of these diseases is estimated to exceed 100 million Disability-Adjusted Life Years (DALYs).
Emotional and social cognitive disturbances are the core features for many neuropsychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety disorders. However, our knowledge of social cognition in neuropsychiatric disorders has progressed quietly and slowly over the past decades. The underlying neural mechanisms of emotional and social cognitive disturbances in patients with schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety disorders are also not yet fully understood. This may be mainly due to limitations of the conventional self-reported checklist and behavioural assessment methodologies adopted to research the emotional and social cognitive disturbances in these patients. However, with the advance of technology in affective neuroscience and neuroimaging, the literature on social cognition and related areas in neuropsychiatric disorders has grown substantially.
The proposed Research Topic aims to bring a group of leading affective neuroscience researchers from all over the world to present their up-to-date findings on this area. The focus of the Research Topic will be on state of the art developments (theory & methodology) in affective neuroscience. For example, it will review cutting edge research that has examined the nature and extent of emotional and social cognitive disturbances in neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, depression and anxiety disorders. In particular, the researchers will present studies which assess important constructs such as empathy, theory of mind, and social interaction and communication in these patients. In addition, the workshop will highlight the advantages and opportunities that stem from applying the affective neuroscience approach to understanding problems in individuals with neuropsychiatric disorders.


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