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Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2019 Aug;236(8):2405-2412. doi: 10.1007/s00213-019-05300-5. Epub 2019 Jun 22.

Modeling subjective belief states in computational psychiatry: interoceptive inference as a candidate framework.

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Department of Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, 1 Gustave L Levy Place, Box 1230, New York, NY, 10029, USA.
Nash Family Department of Neuroscience, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, 1 Gustave L Levy Place, Box 1230, New York, NY, 10029, USA.
Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center (MIRECC VISN 2) at the James J. Peter Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Bronx, NY, USA.
School of Psychology, University of East Anglia, Norwich Research Park, Norwich, Norfolk, NR4 7TJ, UK.
Wellcome Centre for Human Neuroimaging, University College London, London, England.
Max Planck-UCL Centre for Computational Psychiatry and Ageing Research, Russell Square House, London, WC1B 5EH, UK.


The nascent field computational psychiatry has undergone exponential growth since its inception. To date, much of the published work has focused on choice behaviors, which are primarily modeled within a reinforcement learning framework. While this initial normative effort represents a milestone in psychiatry research, the reality is that many psychiatric disorders are defined by disturbances in subjective states (e.g., depression, anxiety) and associated beliefs (e.g., dysmorphophobia, paranoid ideation), which are not considered in normative models. In this paper, we present interoceptive inference as a candidate framework for modeling subjective-and associated belief-states in computational psychiatry. We first introduce the notion and significance of modeling subjective states in computational psychiatry. Next, we present the interoceptive inference framework, and in particular focus on the relationship between interoceptive inference (i.e., belief updating) and emotions. Lastly, we will use drug craving as an example of subjective states to demonstrate the feasibility of using interoceptive inference to model the psychopathology of subjective states.


Computational psychiatry; Craving; Emotion; Interoceptive inference; Subjective beliefs states

[Available on 2020-08-01]
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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