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Computational PsychiatryNew Perspectives on Mental Illness$
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A. David Redish and Joshua A. Gordon

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780262035422

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262035422.001.0001

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Breakdowns and Failure Modes

Breakdowns and Failure Modes

An Engineer’s View

(p.15) 2 Breakdowns and Failure Modes
Computational Psychiatry

A. David Redish

Joshua A. Gordon

The MIT Press

Psychiatry faces a number of challenges due largely to the complexity of the relationship between mind and brain. Starting from the now well-justified assumption that the mind is instantiated in the physical substrate of the brain, understanding this relationship is going to be critical to any understanding of function and dysfunction. Key to that translation from physical substrate to mental function and dysfunction is the computational perspective: it provides a way of translating knowledge and understanding between levels of analysis (Churchland and Sejnowski 1994). Importantly, the computational perspective enables translation to both identify emergent properties (e.g., how a molecular change in a receptor affects behavior) and consequential properties (e.g., how an external sociological trauma can lead to circuit changes in neural processing). Given that psychiatry is about treating harmful dysfunction interacting across many levels (from subcellular to sociological), this chapter argues that the computational perspective is fundamental to understanding the relationship between mind and brain, and thus offers a new perspective on psychiatry.

Keywords:   Strüngmann Forum Report, biomarkers, computational perspective, computational psychiatry, diagnostic nosology, failure mode hypothesis, treatment in psychiatry personalized medicine

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