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Dr Michael Moutoussis
Dr Michael Moutoussis profile picture
  • Clinical Lecturer
  • Imaging Neuroscience
  • UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
  • Faculty of Brain Sciences
I was born and raised in Athens, Greece; I then studied Physics, my first love. I studied Medicine, physiology and psychiatric research methodology while carrying out early mathematical modelling relevant to psychiatry. I earned specialist medical registration as a psychiatrist in Psychotherapy in 2009. I did my PhD a bit later, where I carried out experimental (clinical-psychological) and computational (temporal-difference and ideal bayesian observer) studies of paranoid delusions. My supervisors were amazing: Richard Bentall, Peter Dayan, and Wael El-Deredy. I live in England with my (musician) wife and we have two adult children.
Research Summary
I am interested in computational models of psychiatric disorders. Do the sufferings and satisfactions of an unwell brain correspond to specific patterns of neural computations? What do we need to know about these neural computations to improve therapies and empower sufferers? These research interests are informed by clinical, medical psychotherapy experience, and thus give centre stage to clinical relevance and the suffering of the individual in their community. Within our very promising field of computational psychiatry, it is crucial to delineate which domains of information processing are central to psychosocial (as well as neurobiological) therapies. My main clinical interests are functional somatic symptoms, psychosis and personality disorder (so called!). The latter two inspired me to study thinking that others wish us harm, and also how people represent each other's benign or hostile minds. I now work on several aspects of the relation between basic information processing in the brain and high-level psychiatric symptoms.
Teaching Summary
I love teaching research and psychiatry. I pioneered computational projects for students with no or very little prior experience of maths or coding, at a time when it was thought that students, especially BSc or MSc students with backgrounds in biology or psychology would not be able to carry out good computational psychiatry projects. I am hugely proud of many previous and current BSc, MSc and PhD students, from whose work I learned an enormous amount.
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