Dr. Christopher GagnePostdoc
Department Computational Neuroscience
My current work tries to better understand psychopathology from a computational and algorithmic perspective. In other words, I think about how different psychopathologies (e.g. anxiety, depression, PTSD, etc) could reflect different abnormalities in how the brain makes decisions, plans, and does statistical inference. In doing so, I draw inspiration and insight from the recent progress in computational neuroscience in understanding how the brain accomplishes these processes. Most recently, I’ve been thinking about possible connections between worry — a tendency to imagine worst case scenarios with seemingly little benefit to an individual — and optimal planning. From a theoretical perspective, it seems that worry may not actually be that pathological, but may instead reflect an attempt to optimize an alternative objective.
My list of publications can be accessed here.
2014-2019: PhD Cognitive Neuroscience, Department of Psychology, UC Berkeley
2017-2018: M.S. Statistics, Department of Statistics, UC Berkeley
2008-2012: B.S. Psychology, B.A. Philosophy, Boston College