Markers of mental illness are important as they may refine diagnosis, predict patients’ outcome, and drive treatment discovery. By characterizing the brain tissue at the sub-millimeter scale in-vivo, microstructure imaging holds promise for the development of such markers. Yet the correspondence between anomalies of the brain microstructure and psychiatric diagnoses remains surprisingly poor. An often overlooked reason for this shortcoming is the very imperfection of psychiatric diagnoses which are based on historical categories rather than phenotypic measurements. By leveraging big data from digital traces left by pervasive mobile technologies, digital phenotyping may refine and redefine diagnostic entities. In particular, digital phenotypes can be used to characterise the dynamics of affect. Combining microstructure imaging with digital phenotyping may play an important role in the quest for markers of mental illness.

Maxime Taquet
NIHR Oxford Health BRC Senior Research Fellow and NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow
University of Oxford


Maxime Taquet – Seeking Markers of Mental Illness: From Brain Imaging to Digital Phenotyping