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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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PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 21 May 2022

How Could We Get Nosology from Computation?

How Could We Get Nosology from Computation?

(p.121) 7 How Could We Get Nosology from Computation?
Computational Psychiatry

Christoph Mathys

The MIT Press

Psychiatry has found it difficult to develop a nosology that allows for the targeted treatment of disorders of the mind. This article sets out a possible way forward: harnessing systems theory to provide the conceptual constraints needed to link clinical phenomena with neurobiology. This approach builds on the insight that the mind is a system which, to regulate its environment, needs to have a model of that environment and needs to update predictions about it using the rules of inductive logic. It can be shown that Bayesian inference can be reduced to updating beliefs based on precision-weighted prediction errors, where a prediction error is the difference between actual and predicted input, and precision is the confidence associated with the input prediction. Precision weighting of prediction errors entails that a given discrepancy between outcome and prediction means more, and leads to greater belief updates, the more confidently the prediction was made. This provides a conceptual framework linking clinical experience with the pathophysiology underlying disorders of the mind. Limitations of this approach are discussed and ways to work around them illustrated. Initial steps and possible future directions toward a nosology based on failures of precision weighting are discussed.

Keywords:   Strüngmann Forum Report, computational psychiatry, psychiatry, nosology, prediction errors, precision weighting, belief updating

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