It’s a Mess: Attempt to Connect the Messy Dots of Messy, Hard-to-Define Phenomena

What happens when you try to use new technological tools to measure and map things that are tough to define — so tough to define that people go half-crazy if they try to agree on the details of any of the definitions?

The results can be messy, this paper suggests. Very messy:

rubinovFledgling pathoconnectomics of psychiatric disorders,” Mikail Rubinov [pictured here] and Ed Bullmore, Trends in Cognitive Science, epub November 15, 2013. The authors, at the University of Cambridge, UK, explain:

“Pathoconnectomics, the mapping of abnormal brain networks, is a popular current framework for the study of brain dysfunction in psychiatric disorders. In this review we evaluate the conceptual foundations of this framework, describe the construction and analysis of empirical models of brain networks or connectomes, and summarize recent reports of the large-scale whole-brain connectome organization of two candidate brain-network disorders, schizophrenia and autism. We consider the evidence for the abnormal brain-network nature of psychiatric disorders and find it inconclusive.”

(Thanks to Lexie Thorpe and NeuroSkeptic for bringing this to our attention.)

BONUS: The word “pathoconnectomics” is new. You can help it gain acceptance. Sprinkle it into any conversation, on any topic.

BONUS (possibly unrelated): Psychoses— A Magnificent Hoax