"Unlike other branches of modern medicine which use biologically-based tests of disease, psychiatry still relies on patient reports and physician observations".
That is true. But unlike other branches of medicine, psychiatry doesn't try to fix people that aren't struggling. We go to the doctor, who then tells us our BP is too high and we need to exercise more. We don't go to our psychiatrist for such checkups. A doctor knows what good and bad blood pressure look like, and will seek to move us from bad to good. Today, psychiatrists rarely ever examine, let alone treat, people until their mental state is negatively impacting their lives. They treat the clinical case. They don't go around telling people they are sick in the way medical doctors look at blood pressure. A brain scan, a "biologically-based test" opens the door to treating people who aren't yet a clinical case. I am sure that such scans would aid in the diagnosis and understanding of mental illness. But by expanding the diagnostic process, these scans would also open up a huge new market for the psychiatric treatment of non-clinical cases.
But is that a bad thing? You are free to ignore their treatment suggestions just like with doctors. My doctor actually did tell me to see a therapist based on some test he had me take.
I suspect it would be better if we could prevent issues from arising in the first place but we don't understand enough to even know whether that's possible. Still, having better biological markers may make that possible no?
I can understand your concern but I like to think we can trust the medical community to make good judgment regarding the tradeoffs between invasive treatment and risk just as they already do.
Also, I'm not aware of any public school, at least in the US, that sends students to psychologists for treatment. Schools don't even employ clinical psychologists or psychiatrists, and they can't require that a student go to a psychologist to remain at a school.
If over-connectivity is the source of all these problems then isn't that a boon because it must be simpler to cut connections therapudicly than to create them
The first is about synapse density, the second about how strongly different parts of the brain are linked together (relative to one another).
So a brain with a low average synapse density may still have some areas more functionally connected than the average population.
The default mode network and the attention-related fronto-parietal networks are usually disconnected functionally, they inhibit one another.
See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamic_functional_connectivit... for details
I wonder if that points to failures of the synaptic pruning that's supposed to happen in preschool-to-primary-school age kids.
On the other hand, a common association with several mental illnesses, is rumination("repetitive, self-directed thought") - which actually fits the current study. One wonders if specific mental illness cause rumination and why ? or is it backwards ?
> Course Info: http://rehg.org/teaching/introduction-to-behavioral-imaging/
> Computational Behavioral Science: http://www.cbs.gatech.edu/