In this talk I will present two lines of research that use models to describe dynamic changes in decision making and the impact of clinical dimensions.

1) Bipolar disorder and gambling. Mood instability is a feature of bipolar disorder (BD). While, fluctuating mood episodes have traditionally be seen as lasting weeks or months, more recent work has shown that, in fact, bipolar patients show large day-to-day fluctuations in mood even when symptoms are in the non-clinical range. This degree of mood instability is affected by lithium treatment. Understanding the processes underpinning these fluctuations may help us develop and assess more effective treatment approaches. Here we examined the cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying these fluctuations and how they are changed with the mood stabilizer lithium. Specifically we found reduced stabilizing adaptations of choices to past outcomes and corresponding changes in neural processes.

2) Foraging threat. In a separate line of work, we examined foraging under threat in a gamified task in which participants needed to balance their activities between those that were rewarding and others that ensure the safety of their avatar. In this naturalistic scenario, we measured how emotions (stress and excitement) were evoked by the environment and shaped behaviour. We also examined the impact of transdiagnostic dimensions (anxiety, apathy, compulsivity) on task behaviour in a large online sample. With 7T FMRI, we examined the neural subcortical underpinnings.

Dr. Jacqueline Scholl
Chercheur, Chargé de Recherche, INSERM
Centre de Recherche en Neurosciences de Lyon

Jacqueline Scholl – Decision making and foraging under threat – neural activity and transdiagnostic clinical relevance