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CANCELLED - Decision-Making and Computational Psychiatry: An Explanatory and Pragmatic Perspective

Air date: Tuesday, April 7, 2020, 3:00:00 PM
Time displayed is Eastern Time, Washington DC Local
Description: Dr. Martin Paulus, Scientific Director and President of the Laureate Institute for Brain Research (LIBR), will be the guest speaker in the NIMH Director’s Innovation Speaker Series, which focuses on innovation, invention, and scientific discovery. Dr. Paulus is the Deputy Editor of JAMA Psychiatry and serves on several editorial boards of top-tier psychiatric journals. He has served on numerous NIH and international study sections. At LIBR, Dr. Paulus focuses on using neuroscience approaches to develop better assessments for diagnosis and prognosis of mental health problems and to develop novel interventions based on an increased understanding of the underlying neuroscience.

Dr. Paulus is particularly interested in whether computational approaches can be useful to better develop and rigorously test an explanatory basis for mental disorders. His research examines how to use neuroscience-based measurements to identify modifiable treatment targets and to generate valid predictions that can be useful for clinicians.

Differentiating whether an action leads to an outcome by chance or by an underlying statistical regularity that signals environmental change profoundly affects adaptive behavior. Prior studies have shown that anxious individuals may not appropriately differentiate between these situations. Dr. Paulus will present three experimental results. First, anxious subjects’ exaggerated response to uncertainty leads to a sub-optimal decision strategy that makes it difficult for these individuals to determine whether an action is associated with an outcome by chance or by some statistical regularity. Second, using a PD (Proportional Differential) control model, individuals reporting high levels of fear weight current error less and also under-weight the rate of change of error leading to overcorrecting oscillations around goal attainment. Third, anxious individuals show slower updating of models used in perceptual processing, but not those used in decision-making. Together, these findings have important implications for developing new and improved treatments.
Author: Martin Paulus, M.D., Scientific Director and President, Laureate Institute for Brain Research, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Runtime: 1 hour