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Prof. Quentin Huys – PI

Quentin Huys is Professor of Computational Psychiatry in the Division of Psychiatry and the Institute of Neurology at University College London. He is also the deputy director of the Max Planck UCL Centre for Computational Psychiatry and Ageing Research, and a consultant psychiatrist with Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust. Quentin did his undergraduate at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge University, followed by a MB/PhD at UCL Medical School and the Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit with Peter Dayan. After postdoctoral research at the Center for Theoretical Neuroscience at Columbia University, he undertook his psychiatry residency at the Hospital of Psychiatry in Zurich and was as a senior research fellow at the Translational Neuromodeling Unit, which is part of both ETH Zürich and the University of Zürich.

Dr. Agnes Norbury – Postdoctoral Researcher

Agnes did her PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience at UCL, before taking up postdoctoral fellowships in the Computational and Biological Learning lab at the University of Cambridge, and the Department of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. Her research uses mathematical models to try and better understand cognitive processes that may act as vulnerability and resilience factors for depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorders. Currently, she is working on applying these techniques to gain insight into the mechanisms underlying effective psychological treatments for these disorders.

Dr. Tore Erdman – Postdoctoral Researcher

Tore did his PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience at SISSA, where he worked on computational characterisations of inference processes in delusional ideation. He is interested in mathematical modelling of cognition, behavior and methods for characterising individual differences of inference processes, and model-based analyses of imaging data. He holds a B.Sc. in Psychology from the University of Groningen and a M.Sc. in Statistics from the Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich.

Dr. Anahit Mkrtchian – Postdoctoral Researcher

Anahit did her PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience at UCL, examining the motivational mechanisms driving the antidepressant effect of ketamine in treatment-resistant depression using cognitive, computational and neuroimaging (EEG/fMRI) methods. Prior to this, Anahit completed her MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience at UCL, and her undergraduate degree in Psychology at the University of St Andrew. She is particularly interested in examining the neural representations of internal states, specifically those related to maladaptive cognition in depression and exploring these based on the coding principles of the hippocampal-entorhinal system.

Dr. Daisy Crawley – Postdoctoral researcher and DClinPsy student

Daisy is a trainee clinical psychologist at UCL. She did her undergraduate at Robinson College, Cambridge followed by a masters in Child and Adolescent Mental Health at UCL. She then completed her PhD at King’s College London looking at affective and neurocognitive mechanisms associated with restricted, repetitive behaviours (RRB) in autism. Here, she developed an interest in computational modeling and used modeling to examine probabilistic reversal learning across development in relation to RRB and associated symptoms (anxiety, ADHD) in both autistic and neurotypical individuals. Daisy is particularly interested in the use of these methods within clinical psychology research in order to better understand learning and decision-making processes in relation to mental health symptomatology and neurodiversity. Her current project seeks to understand mechanisms of change underpinning behavioural activation and cognitive therapy for depression.

Dr. Isabel Berwian – Affiliate Researcher

Isabel is a postdoctoral researcher with Yael Niv at Princeton University and an affiliated researcher with the Applied Computational Psychiatry Lab. Her goal is to develop computational tools to examine mechanisms of change in psychotherapy and subsequently use these tools to identify predictors of treatment response to specific psychotherapy interventions. To this end, she is building generative computational models and behavioural tasks of learning and decision-making implicated in depression and psychotherapy interventions. In collaborations with researchers running clinical intervention studies, she is testing the predictive power of these tools.

She completed a Bachelor (University of Oxford) and Master (UZH) in Psychology and her training as clinical psychologist. In parallel, she did her PhD at the Translational Neuromodeling Unit in Zurich under the supervision of Quentin Huys focusing on relapse prediction after antidepressant discontinuation.

Jiazhou Chen – PhD student

Jiazhou is a PhD student in the UCL-NIMH Joint Doctoral Training Program in Neuroscience, jointly supervised by Dr. Quentin Huys and Dr. Argyris Stringaris. He completed his undergraduate training at the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to joining the lab, he worked as a research programmer at the Decision Neuroscience and Psychopathology
Lab at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. He is interested in using computational modeling and brain imaging techniques to investigate the role of mood during decision making and learning in the context of understanding maladaptive behaviors related to depression, such as anhedonia. His current project focuses on modeling momentary mood in different reward and effort conditions.

Ismail Guennouni – PhD student

Following an MSc in Cognitive and Decision Sciences and an MRes in Computer Science with a focus on Machine Learning, Ismail started his PhD in 2019 at UCL with Maarten Speekenbrink and Quentin Huys as secondary supervisor. His research aims to investigate the differential aspects of social learning in mental health disorders. He is particularly interested in exploring whether cognitive interventions inspired by leading psychotherapies can be combined with computational modelling of behaviour to address social learning dysfunction inherent in many mental health disorders.

Anne Hall – PhD student

Anna is a PhD student on the UCL-Wellcome Mental Health Science and the IMPRS PhD programmes. She completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology at the University of Bath, with a clinical placement year at the Evelina Children’s Hospital, followed by an MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of York. She then worked as a Research Assistant at the University of Oxford, examining the longitudinal development of executive functions in infants to allow earlier identification of neurodevelopmental and mental health difficulties, before starting her PhD at UCL.
Anna is interested in how computational methods can be used to understand the cognitive mechanisms underlying transdiagnostic symptoms and current treatments for mood disorders to ultimately inform future interventions. Her current project is exploring mechanisms of anhedonia.

Jolanda Malamud – PhD student

Jolanda is a PhD student on the IMPRS COMP2PSYCH program. Before joining the Max Planck UCL Centre in London, she obtained an MSc in Health Science and Technology with a major in neuroscience from ETH Zurich. Jolanda is interested in using computational modelling to develop novel tools for predicting individual phenotypic features from behavioural data. Her PhD work focuses on gaining a theoretical understanding of the mechanisms underlying depression and anxiety using dynamical modelling of mood/symptoms and theory-driven cognitive approaches. In her current project, she tries to predict antidepressant action in two large RCTs using computational cognitive probes, which could help guide antidepressant prescription and devise new treatments in the long term.

Jakub Onysk – PhD student

Jakub is a PhD student on the IMPRS COMP2PSYCH programme. He’s interested in finding out which neuro-computational mechanisms are engaged throughout the process of psychotherapy as well as how self-report is generated with the goal of extracting clinically relevant measures. Jakub’s journey began with the study of Mathematics and Philosophy at Exeter, which led him to pursue an MSc in Cognitive Science at the University of Edinburgh, where he focused on computational psychiatry of eating disorders. Before joining the PhD, he worked as Research Assistant at the Computational and Biological Learning lab at the University of Cambridge looking into mechanisms underlying pain perception, in particular temporal statistical learning and its significance for chronic pain.

Anahita Talwar – PhD student

Anahita is a PhD student jointly supervised by Professor Jonathan Roiser and Dr Quentin Huys. She did her undergraduate at Robinson College, University of Cambridge followed by an MSc in Neuroscience at UCL. She then worked at Cambridge Cognition for a couple of years before returning to UCL to do her PhD in which she has developed computational models for CANTAB attention set shifting and gambling tasks. She is mainly interested in how computational models can be utilised to provide a more precise understanding of how decision making is affected in mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression. She has recently focused on whether alteration in how probabilities are weighted are related to symptoms of catastrophising.

Xueqing Ma – Research Assistant

Xueqing completed an MSc in Clinical Mental Health Science at UCL. Her dissertation with Dr. Quentin Huys computational models to dissect congitive components of effort-reward processing and analysed the associations of these components with individual differences in anhedonia, apathy, and depression symptoms. She is currently working on the CoComp project as a research assistant. Xueqing earned her undergraduate degree at Jacobs University Bremen, Germany, during which she worked on perceptual decision making research at the Cognitive Science lab as an undergraduate RA.

Ann Chu – MSc student

Prior to joining the lab, I obtained my BSc in Psychology at Nanyang Technological University. Currently, I am a MSc Cognitive Neuroscience student at UCL. I am interested in investigating mechanisms underpinning mood and anxiety disorders using a combination of cognitive/behavioural tasks, neuroimaging and computational approaches, as well as extending these approaches to potentially aid interventions in predicting risk and resilience.

Lana Tymchyk – Research Assistant

Lana completed an MSc in Behavioural and Economic Science at Warwick and her research project investigated which statistical models produce higher rates of false positives in cognitive psychology experiments. She then worked as a software developed in Deutsche Bank for two years, before joining UCL for MSc Clinical Mental Health Sciences. Her research project with the lab focused on the effects of brief mindfulness intervention on self-esteem. Within her current role she is supporting a psychotherapy study and is looking to extend her knowledge of computational modelling.

Alumni

Postdocs

Dr. Evan Russek – now postdoctoral researcher at Princeton University

Prof. Daniel Schad – now professor at the Health and Medical University of Potsdam

PhD

Dr. Isabel Berwian – now postdoctoral researcher at Princeton University

Dr. Daniel Renz – now Expert Data Scientist at Ada Health

MSc

Subati Abulikemu

Natalia Lopez Chemas

Ryo Segawa – now PhD student at the German Primate Centre in Göttingen

Dr. Falk Lieder – now Group Leader at the MPI for Intelligent Systems in Tübingen

Zaihirah Quddus

Yuki Shimura

Zsofia Sophansay

Marius Tröndle

Valance Wang

Anastasios Ziogas