University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Department of Psychiatry & CPFT Thursday Lunchtime Seminar Series > Computational models of compulsivity - State learning and control in OCD and gambling disorder

Computational models of compulsivity - State learning and control in OCD and gambling disorder

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Abstract While OCD and gambling are often conceptualized as disorders of compulsivity arising from dysfunctional beliefs, the nature of the beliefs leading to symptom manifestation remains unclear. Computational modelling can help disentangle the complex interplay between beliefs and symptoms, identify core components, and suggest targets for novel treatment approaches. This talk covers three lines of work that centred around a computational informed understanding of the origins of compulsive behaviour: The first part relates individual structure learning differences to obsessive-compulsive traits and SSR Is – the first-line pharmacological treatment of OCD. The second part delves deeper into the origin of compulsive behaviour. While there are a number of theoretical explanatory frameworks mostly centred around belief alterations, there is no clear consensus on what beliefs are necessary or sufficient to cause compulsive behaviour. We used a minimal model approach (based on a POMDP ) to address this question and pinpoint the belief about the success of preventive actions as being centrally important for eliciting and maintaining compulsive behaviour. Finally, the third part of the talk highlights that similar beliefs about the efficacy of one’s actions may not only be associated with compulsive behaviour in OCD but may also play an essential role in the compulsive aspect of pathological gambling.

Biography Frederike Petzschner is an Assistant Professor for Psychiatry and Human Behaviour at the Department of Psychiatry at Brown University. In her research, she combines mechanistic computational models with measurements of human behavior and brain function in health and disease. One line of her research focuses on modelling learning and decision-making in the healthy population and patients suffering from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Gambling Addiction. Another line of research focuses on Interoception. Studying how the brain processes and regulates internal bodily states and how aberrations in this process can result in dyshomeostasis, Psychosomatic symptoms and Chronic Pain. For more information about Dr Petzschner, please visit: https://fpetzschner.com/

This talk is part of the Department of Psychiatry & CPFT Thursday Lunchtime Seminar Series series.

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