We have several new positions available for lab manager and student research assistants. If you are interested in working on computational psychiatry and neuroimaging, please visit all the details here: https://devcompsy.org/join-the-lab/
Our lab will be joining OCD Action’s National Conference on 07/10/2023 in London. Tobias will be speaking on “(How) does brain research matter for understanding OCD?” at 11:45am and our group will have a stall talking about some exciting research projects and new creations about OCD and the brain. Looking forward to seeing you there!
Join an exciting fMRI project at UCL and be part of the vibrant MPC and FIL research community! If you have a background in fMRI and/or decision making, please consider applying for this position. All details can be found here: https://t.co/PFJ1i1QdWJ If you are interested, please feel free to reach out to Tobias. Deadline: 17/07/23
Tobias has been interviewed about the Brain Explorer project by Bürger schaffen Wissen. You can read the full interview here: https://www.buergerschaffenwissen.de/blog/nachgeforscht-brain-explorer
We have several postdoctoral openings in Tubingen for neuroimaging as well as for clinical studies. If you are interested in these opportunities, please reach out to Tobias directly. These positions provide the unique chance to help form the research direction of the Tubingen site. All information about the positions can be found here: https://devcompsy.org/join-the-lab/
I am thrilled to announce that I am joining the University of Tübingen to take up a full professorship in Computational Psychiatry! I am taking up a position at the Dept. of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy and will be associated with the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics. I am looking forward to collaborating with my fantastic new colleagues across psychiatry, neuroimaging, development, and artificial intelligence. Importantly, I have several great positions to fill here in Tübingen – from student research assistants to postdoctoral fellows (computational modelling, clinical, neuroimaging). Please find more information and the job adverts here: https://devcompsy.org/join-the-lab/. If you are interested in working with me in Tübingen, please reach out! For now, I will keep my group at UCL and continue my projects there. This means I don’t have to say goodbye to the great UCL – just yet.
Our study, led by Johanna Habicht on optimism bias in childhood has been covered in the widely read German science magazine Bild der Wissenschaft. You can read the article here: https://www.wissenschaft.de/gesellschaft-psychologie/kleine-optimisten/
Chocolate, hibiscus or spinach ice-cream? Many decisions we make require arbitrating between novelty (e.g., hibiscus) and the benefits of familiar options (e.g., chocolate). This is called the exploration-exploitation trade-off and humans rely on different exploration strategies to make their decision. Exploration strategies vary in performance and computational requirements. The simplest strategy, value-free random exploration, is to ignore prior knowledge and to choose entirely randomly. Such strategy may lead to suboptimal performance (e.g., choosing the disgusting spinach ice-cream), but allows to spare cognitive resources. This is of particular interest when access to cognitive resources is limited and prior knowledge uncertain, such as in development and mental health disorders. In a cross-sectional developmental study, we demonstrate that value-free random exploration is used more at a younger age, in line with the idea that we need to spare more cognitive resources at an earlier age as our brain is still developing. Additionally, in a large-sample online study, we show that value-free random exploration is specifically associated to impulsivity, suggesting an adaptive role for impulsivity, i.e., a way to …
Why do most mental health illnesses first manifest before adulthood? Our group has launched a new smartphone app to investigate how brain development is linked to mental health in a new citizen science project. The Brain Explorer app (www.brainexplorer.net) uses the latest state-of-the-art insights from neuroscience research to investigate brain functions in fun and entertaining games for young and old. By playing these games, people can learn about their own brain functions, and at the same time help the researchers to better understand how brain functions are related to the emergence of mental health problems. “We know that the brain changes substantially during adolescence”, says Dr Tobias Hauser, lead scientist on the project, “but we do not know how impaired brain development causes mental health problems. This app will help us understand why mental health problems arise during adolescence.” A better understanding of how abnormal brain development leads to mental health problems will allow researchers to build new models to predict emerging psychiatric illnesses and can help develop novel interventions. Everyone can contribute to research …
In a recent paper that we recently published in Nature Neuroscience, we present data from a longitudinal cohort study (the NSPN project). We repeatedly acquired MRI scans from over 300 adolescents and followed them over time. Using a specific marked (magentization transfer saturation) that indexes myelination (the insulation of brain connections), we show that adolescence undergoes fundamental reorganisation during adolescence. A wide-spread myelin-related growth is thereby present in both white and gray matter. Looking at traits of impulsivity and compulsivity, we then show that scoring high on these dimensions is related to a reduced growth in prefrontal brain areas. Our study thus links adolescent brain development to prychiatric traits during a periode when many mental health problems emerge. More information can be found here: Ziegler G*, Hauser TU*, Moutoussis M, Bullmore ET, Goodyer IM, Fonagy P, Jones PB, NSPN Consortium, Lindenberger U & Dolan RJ (2019). Compulsivity and impulsivity are linked to distinct developmental trajectories of fronto-striatal myelinatioCompulsivity and impulsivity traits linked to attenuated developmental frontostriatal myelination trajectoriesn. Nature Neuroscience