A computational approach to comparative psychopathology

[Speaker] Sanabria, Federico:1
1:Arizona State University (United States of America)

A comparative approach is critical to the investigation of human psychopathology. Modeling behavioral disorders in non-human animals allows a close examination of potential neural and cognitive mechanisms underlying those disorders. For behavioral disorders with poorly defined pathophysiology, current modeling tools are still incipient, and are primarily based on face validity. In this talk I discuss a strategy for modeling behavioral disorders that incorporates computational techniques. This strategy defines behavioral processes in terms of closed-feedback-loop systems comprising simple but interconnected stochastic processes. According to this approach, behavioral disorders may emerge from abnormal parameters of the feedback system, which may be linked to well-defined neural structures. An important feature of these systems is that they may be implemented in various species, and even in artificial platforms, thus allowing for a principled approach to comparative psychopathology. This approach is illustrated with preliminary research on animal models of ADHD and substance dependence.

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