Neuroimaging and Psychopathological Domains

  • Armida Mucci
  • Silvana Galderisi
  • Antonella Amodio
  • Thomas Dierks


Primary psychotic disorders are characterized by clinical heterogeneity in terms of psychopathological manifestations, course, and outcome. Several data demonstrated that symptoms cluster in psychopathological dimensions which are more accurate than diagnostic categories in predicting risk factors, course, response to treatment, and functional outcome. The dimensions might be related to distinct pathophysiological mechanisms which can coexist in individual subjects.

Brain imaging studies in primary psychotic disorders produced inconsistent findings and demonstrated a large overlap of measures between patients and control subjects at the individual level. These observations suggest that a neurobiological heterogeneity parallels the clinical heterogeneity of psychotic disorders.

The investigation of brain imaging correlates of the psychopathological dimensions in primary psychotic disorders has produced testable hypotheses on pathophysiological processes. Discrepancies in findings paralleled controversies and uncertainty in the definition, assessment, and boundaries of each dimension.

Along with the review of findings related to the dimensions, the present chapter illustrates also findings from studies investigating individual symptoms, consistently clustering in specific psychopathological dimensions, or domains central to the pathophysiological hypotheses under testing, such as avolition-apathy, expressive deficit, formal thought disorder, and hallucinations, for the contribution of these findings to the refinement of pathophysiological hypotheses.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Armida Mucci
    • 1
  • Silvana Galderisi
    • 1
  • Antonella Amodio
    • 1
  • Thomas Dierks
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”NaplesItaly
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatric NeurophysiologyUniversity Hospital of Psychiatry, University of BernBernSwitzerland

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