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Definitions of the RDoC Domains and Constructs


The current version of the RDoC matrix is constructed around six major domains of human functioning. These domains reflect contemporary knowledge about major systems of emotion, cognition, motivation, and social behavior. Within each domain are behavioral elements, processes, mechanisms, and responses, called constructs, that comprise different aspects of the overall range of functions. Constructs are studied along a span of functioning from normal to abnormal, with the understanding that each is situated in, and affected by, environmental and neurodevelopmental contexts. Measurement of constructs can occur using several different methods termed units of analysis. Units of analysis can include genetic, neurocircuit, behavioral, and self-report assessments.

The RDoC matrix depicts the domains, constructs, and units of analysis that are currently part of the RDoC framework; however, the matrix was created to be responsive to emerging research and will change as research accrues and evolves.

The definitions of the RDoC domains -- and their constructs and subconstructs -- are provided below. Although the construct definitions are presented separately, researchers recognize that there is interaction and overlap among each domain.

RDoC Domain and Construct Definitions

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Learn more about the development of the RDoC matrix.