Research Projects

Current main research projects

The use of semantic prior and sensory clarity in early psychosis and chronic schizophrenia: Individuals suffering from psychosis often report cognitive deficits, including language comprehension difficulties. These cognitive symptoms precede the onset of positive symptoms and are a strong predictor for transitioning from a high-risk state into a full-blown psychosis. We are using a complex predictive language processing paradigm to investigate using a Bayesian modellingwhether (1) predictive language processing is impaired across different stages of psychosis (i.e., at-risk, first episode, chronic schizophrenia) and whether (2) these linguistic predictive processing mechanisms contribute to the perception of illusions (i.e. non-clinical hallucinations). Collaborators: Dr Lucy J. MacGregor, Dr Chris Mathys

Decision making in early psychosis and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD): We are using various decision making paradigms across different sub-projects, such as the go/nogo task (Guitart-Masip, et al 2012), the two-stage task (Daw, et al, 2012), and model-free probabilistic learning tasks (similar to O’Doherty, et al., 2004) to investigate the underlying mechanisms of deficits in reward and prediction error processing in early psychosis and OCD. We are using reinforcement learning and active inference algorithms to understand behaviour and explore the relation to brain signals. Collaborators on different sub-projects: Prof Kathrin Koch, Dr Christian Sorg, Dr Michael Moutoussis, Dr Christelle Langley.

Investigating morphometric networks across different psychotic disorders including Early Psychosis and Parkinson’s Psychosis: In this project we investigate structural grey matter changes that occur across different psychotic disorders, namely at-risk mental state for developing psychosis, first episode psychosis and Parkinson’s disease psychosis. We investigate grey matter organisation and volume differences. We wish to understand how morphometric networks change with disease progression in psychosis from an at-risk state to a first episode, and in PD with and without psychosis. Collaborator: Prof Kathrin Koch.

The COVID-19 Pandemic and its impact on mental health: The ongoing pandemic has created an unprecedented situation for the global population. People everywhere experience restrictions in everyday life, and consequential stressors, such as financial insecurities, dealing with loss and illness, misinformation, etc. Using a variety of different statistical approaches we are investigating the impact the COVID-19 pandemic poses on mental health, but especially psychosis, depression and anxiety disorders.