DCC Lecture - Jonathan Rosier

Tuesday 19 March 2024, 11:15 am - 1:30 pm

Jonathan Roiser (Professor of Neuroscience and Mental Health and Deputy Director at the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience) will visit us on Tuesday 19 March 2024. This event will take place in person, everyone is kindly invited (no registration necessary).

Title: A Computational Approach to Understanding Motivational Symptoms in Depression


Motivational symptoms of depression are debilitating and associated with poor clinical outcome, but the mechanisms underlying them are poorly understood. This talk will present data examining how cognitive processes related to effort-based decision making for reward are associated with depressive symptoms, using a computational approach. Results from two cross-sectional studies, including 250 participants (healthy volunteers, unmedicated depressed patients, first degree relatives and remitted depressed patients), will be presented. Participants completed a rewarded physical effort task using a grip squeeze device, and motivational symptoms were assessed through questionnaires. Data were analysed using a hierarchical computational approach, with model parameters estimated in a Bayesian framework using sampling. In the non-clinical study (N=90), general depressive symptoms were associated with lower reward sensitivity (P<0.001), while anhedonia was related to a lack of willingness to engage in effortful responding (P<0.05). In the clinical study (N=180), current or past depression was associated with lower propensity to accept challenges, independent of reward or effort level. Preliminary results from a study examining the effect of L-Dopa administration on effort-based decision making (N=80) will be presented, suggesting a surprising but robust moderation of the pharmacological intervention by weight. These studies illuminate the cognitive mechanisms contributing to depressive symptoms relating to disrupted motivational processing.


Jonathan Roiser is Professor of Neuroscience and Mental Health and Deputy Director at the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience. His research interests lie in understanding the brain and psychological processes driving mental health problems, especially disrupted motivation in depression. He has published over 150 peer-reviewed papers and his recent research has been funded by Wellcome, the Leverhulme Trust and the Rosetrees Trust. He founded and directs two PhD schemes: the UCL-NIMH Joint Doctoral Training Program in Neuroscience; and the UCL Wellcome 4-year PhD Programme in Mental Health Science.

Who:                   Jonathan Rosier

When:               Tuesday March 19, 2024 from 11:15 to 13:30hrs 

Where:              MM 01.620, Colloquium room

Host:                hanneke.denouden [at] donders.ru.nl ( Hanneke den Ouden)

Jonathan Rosier
Tuesday 19 March 2024, 11:15 am - 1:30 pm
Maria Montessori building, MM 01.620, Colloquium room