Monday, August 4, 2008

Mindscape- mental landscape

The latest genomic, neurobiological and clinical evidence suggest that normal mental functioning and psychiatric disorders can be classified in three broad and overlapping domains: the anxiety domain, the mood domain and the cognitive domain. This is superficially reminiscent of the Freudian classification of id, ego and superego. The mind works to optimize organism-environment interactions through anxiety, mood and cognition. Psychiatry can provide a magnifying glass for identifying the normal functions of the mind by studying their disruptions.

At a particular moment in time, a person’s mind state can be represented as a point in this 3D space, determined by x, y, z coordinates of quantitative scores on anxiety, mood and cognition measures, respectively. Rating scales as well as blood biomarkers levels and other objective correlates for mood (such as neuromotor activity measures), anxiety (such as galvanic skin response) and cognition (such as EEG gamma band measures), can be used to generate the scores.

Over time, the fourth dimension, each person is represented by a distribution of points (cloud) in the three-dimensional Mindscape. The topology (shape) of the Mindscape cloud is unique for each person, similar to how each person has a fairly unique physical appearance. In fact, it may differentiate between identical twins.