Toby Wise Computational psychiatry | Anxiety and depression Investigating neural & computational mechanisms underlying symptoms of anxiety and depression

About me


I'm a Sir Henry Wellcome fellow based at the UCL Max Planck Centre for Computational Psychiatry and Ageing Research at UCL. I use computational modelling and neuroimaging to understand the mechanisms underlying symptoms of anxiety and depression.

I started my academic career with a BSc in Psychology and MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Sussex, before completing a PhD at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King's College London, where I focused on neuroimaging markers of depression and bipolar disorder.

Research

Aversive learning processes

A growing literature suggests that anxiety and depression may be associated with alterations in processes governing learning about reward and punishment. I use behavioural tasks tapping into appetitive and aversive learning to understand how individual differences in specific aspects of the learning processes may underlie symptoms of these disorders.

Offline replay in learning and planning

Many of the symptoms of anxiety and depression, such as rumination and worry, occur "offline" - i.e. when we are not actively encountering any positive or negative feedback. I investigate how offline processes, such as sequential replay and reactivation, function in motivationally salient environments using MEG and EEG. This work aims to provide a foundation for future investigations into the role played by these processes in symptoms such as worry.

Brain networks in anxiety and depression

Key brain networks are thought to be structurally and functionally affected in affective and anxiety disorders. I use MRI to answer questions about how these networks are affected in these disorders, and how their dysfunction may relate to specific symptom profiles.