• Paradigms for Assessing Hedonic Processing and Motivation in Humans: Relevance to Understanding Negative Symptoms in Psychopathology

      Barch, D.M.; Gold, J.M.; Kring, A.M. (Oxford University Press, 2017)
      Clinicians and researchers have long known that one of the debilitating aspects of psychotic disorders is the presence of "negative symptoms," which involve impairments in hedonic and motivational function, and/or alterations in expressive affect. We have a number of excellent clinical tools available for assessing the presence and severity of negative symptoms. However, to better understand the mechanisms that may give rise to negative symptoms, we need tools and methods that can help distinguish among different potential contributing causes, as a means to develop more targeted intervention pathways. Using such paradigms is particularly important if we wish to understand whether the causes are the same or different across disorders that may share surface features of negative symptoms. This approach is in line with the goals of the Research Diagnostic Criteria Initiative, which advocates understanding the nature of core dimensions of brain-behavior relationships transdiagnostically. Here we highlight some of the emerging measures and paradigms that may help us to parse the nature and causes of negative symptoms, illustrating both the research approaches from which they emerge and the types of constructs that they can help elucidate. Copyright The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center. All rights reserved.