Mapping the neural circuit of credit assignment for a new targeted intervention in addiction

Funder information

  • ' MRC - UKRI
  • * £1,032,516
  • & 01/11/2020 – 31/10/2024
 

The twin goals of this fellowship are:

  • to propose new diagnostic tools for psychiatric illnesses grounded in the decision neuroscience framework (co-I: Prof. Rushworth) and use this to
  • develop a new circuit-based treatment using ultrasonic brain neurostimulation in addiction (co-I & Project partner: Prof. Stagg, Prof. Aubry).
The project involves four stages: 

The first two will capitalize on the power of theory-driven learning models applied to "big-data" to establish that a general mechanism of credit assignment can be used as a transdiagnostic clinical marker. In parallel, the same task paradigm will be used in a multivariate functional MRI setting to map out brain data to clinical phenotypes. The last two stages of the project will use transcranial ultrasound neuromodulation combined with resting-state and functional fMRI, to alter neural pathways underlying pathological credit assignment and modulate distinct symptoms of addiction. Combining mechanistic understanding of circuit dysfunction with pioneering technologies for non-invasive neurostimulation will be a significant step forward in developing therapies for addiction and related disorders.

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