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Janaina Mourao-Miranda Inaugural Lecture

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UCL

Roberts Building, Room 106

Torrington Place, Bloomsbury

London

WC1E 7JE

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Mental Health through the lens of machine learning applied to neuroimaging

Diagnosis in psychiatry, in contrast to most medical areas, are based on highly specialized clinical assessments considering only subjective symptoms and observable signs, given the absence of clinically relevant biological measures in psychiatry. Considering that current psychiatric categories fail to align with findings from clinical neuroscience and genetics and have not been predictive of treatment response, there is clearly a need for developing new ways of classifying mental health disorders combining clinical assessments with neurobiological measures.

Neuroimaging techniques provide detailed information regarding brain structure and function and therefore can help the discovery of neurobiological abnormalities associated with psychiatric disorders. With the technological advances enabling acquisition of large volumes of patient data, new machine learning models that can combine information from neuroimaging techniques with complementary knowledge from clinical assessments and general patient information have the potential to identify reliable biological markers and improve patient characterization in psychiatry.

In this talk, I will present some pioneering examples of how machine learning has been applied to improve diagnosis and prognosis of psychiatric disorders based on brain scans. I will also discuss how machine learning models can help us to map a brain-behavior mental health space which has the potential to improve psychiatric diagnostic classification and identify people at risk of developing mental health disorders.

Biography

Janaina is a Professorial Research Associate and Wellcome Trust Senior Fellow at the Computer Science Department, UCL. She leads the Machine Learning and Neuroimaging Lab at UCL. Janaina obtained an MSc degree in Computer Science in 1998 and a PhD in Neuroscience in 2002, both from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil).

After a period of postdoctoral work at the Department of Neural Computation at Siemens, Munich, Germany (2003–2005) and at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, UK (2005–2009) Janaina was awarded a Wellcome Trust Research Career Development Fellowship in 2009 and a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellowship 2013 to further develop her research at the Computer Science Department at UCL. Over the past years, her research has involved developing and applying machine learning approaches to neuroimaging data, in particular focusing on neuroimaging based diagnostic and prognostic models. Her current research focuses on developing machine-learning models to investigate complex relationships between neuroimaging data and multidimensional descriptions of mental health disorders.

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UCL

Roberts Building, Room 106

Torrington Place, Bloomsbury

London

WC1E 7JE

United Kingdom

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