Computational Psychiatry

Computational Psychiatry

A Primer

Edited by Peggy Seriès

The first introductory textbook in the emerging, fast-developing field of computational psychiatry.
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The first introductory textbook in the emerging, fast-developing field of computational psychiatry.

Computational psychiatry applies computational modeling and theoretical approaches to psychiatric questions, focusing on building mathematical models of neural or cognitive phenomena relevant to psychiatric diseases. It is a young and rapidly growing field, drawing on concepts from psychiatry, psychology, computer science, neuroscience, electrical and chemical engineering, mathematics, and physics. This book, accessible to nonspecialists, offers the first introductory textbook in computational psychiatry.

After more than 100 years of psychological theories, psychopharmacological research, and clinical experience, the challenges of understanding and treating mental illness remain. Computational psychiatry seeks to explain how psychiatric dysfunction may emerge mechanistically, and how it may be classified, predicted, and clinically addressed. It has the potential to bridge advances in neuroscience and clinical applications, connecting low-level biological features with high-level cognitive features. After a survey of computational psychiatry methods, the book covers biologically detailed models of working memory and decision making and computational models of cognitive control. It then describes the application of computational approaches to schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, addiction, and Tourette's syndrome. Finally, the book briefly discusses additional disorders and offers guidelines for future research. Chapters also offer discussions of related issues, chapter summaries, and suggestions for further study. The book can be used as a textbook by students and as a reference for scientists and clinicians interested in applying computational models to diagnosis and treatment strategies.


$60.00 X ISBN: 9780262044592 342 pp. | 7 in x 9 in 45 color illus.


Peggy Seriès

Peggy Seriès is Senior Lecturer in Computational Neuroscience and Psychiatry at the Institute for Adaptive and Neural Computation at the University of Edinburgh.


  • Computational Psychiatry is a wonderful introduction to the perspectives and computational approaches that are now fundamental to neuropsychiatry. This book illustrates how computational approaches increase theoretical rigor, advance translation, and yield unexpected insights into neural mechanisms, complex behaviors, and psychopathology.

    John H. Krystal

    McNeil Professor of Psychiatry, Neuroscience, and Psychology, and Chair of Psychiatry, Yale University

  • Computational Psychiatry offers a promising framework grounded in the dynamics of neural circuits and provides an accessible and up-to-date guide to exciting new computational approaches to mental disorders.

    Terrence Sejnowski

    Francis Crick Chair, Salk Institute; Distinguished Professor, University of California, San Diego

  • Read the first two sentences of this book. You will want to read more—and you should. This foundational treatment celebrates the promise and craft of computational psychiatry, with beautifully orchestrated contributions from the key architects of an exciting new field.

    Karl Friston

    Professor, Scientific Director, and Honorary Consultant, University College London and National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, UK