Biocultural psychopathology as a new epistemology for mental disorders

A new piece in History of Psychiatry may interest AHP readers: “Biocultural psychopathology as a new epistemology for mental disorders,” by Caio Maximino. Abstract:

Psychopathology has been criticized for decades for its reliance on a brain-centred and over-reductionist approach which views mental disorders as disease-like natural kinds. While criticisms of brain-centred psychopathologies abound, these criticisms sometimes ignore important advances in the neurosciences which view the brain as embodied, embedded, extended and enactive, and as fundamentally plastic. A new onto-epistemology for mental disorders is proposed, focusing on a biocultural model, in which human brains are understood as embodied and embedded in ecosocial niches, and with which individuals enact particular transactions characterized by circular causality. In this approach, neurobiological bases are inseparable from interpersonal and socio-cultural factors. This approach leads to methodological changes in how mental disorders are studied and dealt with.

About Jacy Young

Jacy Young is a professor at Quest University Canada. A critical feminist psychologist and historian of psychology, she is committed to critical pedagogy and public engagement with feminist psychology and the history of the discipline.