Scientists have built a computer ‘brain circuit’, or artificial neural network, that mirrors human decision-making processes and sheds light on how circuits might be altered in psychiatric diseases, a new study published today in eLife reports.
The model identifies a potential mechanism for the impaired decision making that is commonly seen in schizophrenia, involving the reduced activity of molecules in the brain called NDMA receptors. These results provide new insight that may inform the development of future treatments for neuropsychiatric conditions.
A major challenge in psychiatry is to relate changes that occur at nerve synapses in the brain to the cognitive processes that cause symptoms of disorders such as schizophrenia. Computational modelling of brain circuits can fill in these gaps. By altering the circuit model at the synapse level, you can make predictions of nerve activity and behaviours, and then test