Deconstructing and reconstructing behaviour relevant to mental health disorders: The benefits of a psychological approach, with a focus on addiction.
RUTHERFORD, L.G. and Milton, A.L. Deconstructing and reconstructing behaviour relevant to mental health disorders: The benefits of a psychological approach, with a focus on addiction. NEUROSCI BIOBEHAV REV XX(X)XXX-XXX, 2021. - Current treatments for mental health disorders are successful only for some patients, and there is an unmet clinical need for new treatment development. One challenge for treatment development has been how best to model complex human conditions in animals, where mechanisms can be more readily studied with a range of neuroscientific techniques. We suggest that an approach to modelling based on associative animal learning theory provides a suitable framework for deconstructing complex mental health disorders such that they can be studied in animals. These individual simple models can subsequently be used in combination to 'reconstruct' a more complex model of the mental health disorder of interest. Using examples primarily from the field of drug addiction, we explore the 'psychological approach' and suggest that in addition to facilitating translation and backtranslation of tasks between animal models and patients, this approach is also highly concordant with the concept of triangulation.