Category: Neuroscience

Panel Discussion

Panel Discussion 4 - Neural Network Models: Relevance for the Present and Future of CBT

Friday, November 17
10:15 AM - 11:15 AM
Location: Indigo Ballroom B, Level 2, Indigo Level

Keywords: Neuroscience | CBT | Methods
Presentation Type: Panel Discussion

Neural Network Models (NNMs) describe a computationally-derived approach in which cognition and behavior are conceptualized as emergent phenomena produced by correlated patterns of activity across functionally-defined networks of neural regions. NNMs offer CBT a unique opportunity to connect with a theoretical and practice model based in cognitive neuroscience and that provides an explanatory basis for the mechanisms of CBT. NNMs can be relevant for the practice of CBT by providing its treatments with a grounding in cognitive neuroscience, conferring a competitive advantage in the healthcare system over psychotherapies that cannot make this claim. Moreover, NNMs provide a common framework for comparing CBT with pharmacological approaches by examining the effects of both approaches on “changing the brain” to induce beneficial psychological and behavioral effects, allowing a more direct comparison of  specific mechanisms of action. NNMs are congruent with CBT’s aspirational value system since it’s only ethical to accurately inform patients about how the treatments recommended to them work based on robust mechanisms of action. Unfortunately, NNMs remain largely unknown or ignored by the CBT community. The onus to prove how NNMs can enhance and support CBT is on its proponents. Creative efforts at dissemination will be necessary as numerical accounts of treatment mechanisms are not intuitive to clinicians. Accordingly, this panel will explore: a. The dissemination problem in NNMs; b. How and why NNMs can provide an explanatory framework for the mechanisms of CBT action; c. How the theory of NNMs is translated into clinical protocols in CBT; d. Critiques of NNMs; e. The merits of NNMs in the practice marketplace and for clinical research funding; and f. How NNMs could contribute to the maturation of CBT as a science, and therefore impact its future. Opportunities for audience contributions to the discussion will be provided.

Learning Objectives:

Dean McKay

Fordham University


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Jonathan Hoffman

Clinical Director
Neurobehavioral Institute


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Panel Discussion 4 - Neural Network Models: Relevance for the Present and Future of CBT

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