Taylor JJ, Williams NR, George MS. Beyond Neural Cubism: Promoting a Multidimensional View of Brain Disorders by Enhancing the Integration of Neurology and Psychiatry in Education. Acad Med. 2015 May ; 90(5): 581–586
Cubism was an influential early-20th-century art movement characterized by angular, disjointed imagery. The two-dimensional appearance of Cubist figures and objects is created through juxtaposition of angles. The authors posit that the constrained perspectives found in Cubism may also be found in the clinical classification of brain disorders. Neurological disorders are often separated from psychiatric disorders as if they stemmed from different organ systems. Maintaining two isolated clinical disciplines fractionalizes the brain in the same way that Pablo Picasso fractionalized figures and objects in his Cubist art. This Neural Cubism perpetuates a clinical divide that does not reflect the scope and depth of neuroscience. All brain disorders are complex and multidimensional, with aberrant circuitry and resultant psychopharmacology manifesting as altered behavior, affect, mood, or cognition. Trainees should receive a multidimensional education based on modern neuroscience, not a partial education based on clinical precedent. The authors briefly outline the rationale for increasing the integration of neurology and psychiatry and discuss a nested model with which clinical neuroscientists (neurologists and psychiatrists) can approach and treat brain disorders.