Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version



Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior 2022, 117, 275–278 NUMBER 3 (MAY)

doi: 10.1002/jeab.762


This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License


At this point in the history of the science of behavior, a focus on neuroscience-based outcomes has become dominant in neuropsychiatric fields at the preclinical and clinical levels of analysis. The notion that behavior is caused by brain function, and that changing brain function can alter behavior, has fueled this push to understand these neurobiological mechanisms. Within this conceptual framework and the funding to incentivize its adoption, the neuroscience field grew rapidly with the goal to understand the relation between the brain and behavior. As such, a reductionist perspective emerged whereby neural manipulations of increasing sophistication became required for assessing the necessity and sufficiency of a particular brain mechanism’s role in behavior (Krakauer et al., 2017). Yet, despite the amazing advances in neuroscience, some, such as the former director of the National Institute of Mental Health, Dr. Thomas Insel, have noted the lack of progress in treatment outcomes for mental illness following the shift in funding from behavioral research to genetics and neuroscience research (Barry, 2022).

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