Taking an RDoC lens to the study of panic disorder: A commentary on Hamm et al. and other thoughts on RDoC

Stewart A Shankman*, Andrea C. Katz, Scott A. Langenecker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) initiative put forth by the National Institute of Mental Health represents an exciting new framework in which to study psychopathology. The article by Hamm et al. (2016) is an interesting application of an "RDoC lens" toward a program of research on panic disorder. This commentary highlights the many strengths of the Hamm et al. (2016) study-most notably the article's application of a well-studied animal model of anxiety (Fanselow's, threat imminence model) to humans, utilization of an interesting behavioral paradigm (as an analog for avoidance behaviors in panic disorder), and using RDoC to examine predictors of treatment response. This commentary also discusses several questions about RDoC that arise out of Hamm et al. For example, (a) How should participants be selected for RDoC studies? (b) Are RDoC constructs risk factors (and risk factors for what)? (c) Besides Hamm et al.'s, approach, how else can RDoC be used in treatment studies? In sum, Hamm et al. is a very good example of an RDoC study, and in this early phase of the initiative, more examples for how the approach plays out are needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)328-331
Number of pages4
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016


  • Agoraphobia
  • Negative valence system
  • Panic disorder
  • Research Domain Criteria

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Neuroscience(all)


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