The cognitive neuroscience paradigm: A unifying metatheoretical framework for the science and practice of clinical psychology
Article first published online: 24 OCT 2001
Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Journal of Clinical Psychology
Special Issue: In Search of a Paradigm for Clinical Psychology: Neuroscience versus Behaviorism
Volume 57, Issue 9, pages 1067–1088, September 2001
How to Cite
Ilardi, S. S. and Feldman, D. (2001), The cognitive neuroscience paradigm: A unifying metatheoretical framework for the science and practice of clinical psychology. J. Clin. Psychol., 57: 1067–1088. doi: 10.1002/jclp.1124
- Issue published online: 24 OCT 2001
- Article first published online: 24 OCT 2001
The emerging discipline of cognitive neuroscience (CN) enjoins the efforts of cognitive psychologists, neuroscientists, computer scientists, clinical neurologists, neurophilosophers, and many others working collaboratively across traditional disciplinary boundaries to elucidate the manner in which the physical operations of the brain give rise to the vast panoply of human mental and behavioral events. The present article describes the foundational tenets of the CN metatheoretical framework and contends that the CN framework is capable of providing a coherent, unifying scientific paradigm for the discipline of clinical psychology. Clinical psychology's adoption of the CN paradigm would facilitate (a) its consilient linkage with the natural sciences, (b) resolution of long-standing internecine theoretical schisms, and (c) enhanced understanding and treatment of numerous forms of psychopathology. Nevertheless, psychology's historically influential radical behavioral (RB) perspective is not easily reconciled with the CN paradigm. However, unlike CN, RB (a) is not fully consilient with the natural sciences, (b) fails to articulate the proximal causal mechanisms that mediate environment–behavior relations, and (c) engages in “greedy reductionism” in its disavowal of informational levels of complexity in the patterning of neural activity. The article concludes with a discussion of the possibility of theoretical rapprochement between CN and RB. © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. J Clin Psychol 57: 1067–1088, 2001.