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Using Optimal Control to Disambiguate the Effect of Depression on Sensorimotor, Motivational and Goal-Setting Functions.

Using Optimal Control to Disambiguate the Effect of Depression on Sensorimotor, Motivational and Goal-Setting Functions.
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Huang H, Harlé K, Movellan J, Paulus M,


Huang H, Harlé K, Movellan J, Paulus M, (click to view)

Huang H, Harlé K, Movellan J, Paulus M,

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PloS one 2016 12 1411(12) e0167960 doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0167960
Abstract

Differentiating the ability from the motivation to act is of central importance to psychiatric disorders in general and depression in particular. However, it has been difficult to develop quantitative approaches to relate depression to poor motor performance in goal-directed tasks. Here, we use an inverse optimal control approach to provide a computational framework that can be used to infer and factorize performance deficits into three components: sensorimotor speed, goal setting and motivation. Using a novel computer-simulated driving experiment, we found that (1) severity of depression is associated with both altered sensorimotor speed and motivational function; (2) moderately to severely depressed individuals show an increased distance from the stop sign indicating aversive learning affecting goal setting functions. Taken together, the inverse optimal control framework can disambiguate on an individual basis the sensorimotor from the motivational dysfunctions in depression, which may help to develop more precisely targeted interventions.

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