UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Simulating the computational mechanisms of cognitive and behavioral psychotherapeutic interventions: insights from active inference

Smith, R; Moutoussis, M; Bilek, E; (2021) Simulating the computational mechanisms of cognitive and behavioral psychotherapeutic interventions: insights from active inference. Scientific Reports , 11 (1) , Article 10128. 10.1038/s41598-021-89047-0. Green open access

[thumbnail of Moutoussis_Simulating the computational mechanisms of cognitive and behavioral psychotherapeutic interventions- insights from active inference_VoR.pdf]
Preview
Text
Moutoussis_Simulating the computational mechanisms of cognitive and behavioral psychotherapeutic interventions- insights from active inference_VoR.pdf - Published Version

Download (3MB) | Preview

Abstract

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) leverages interactions between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. To deepen understanding of these interactions, we present a computational (active inference) model of CBT that allows formal simulations of interactions between cognitive interventions (i.e., cognitive restructuring) and behavioral interventions (i.e., exposure) in producing adaptive behavior change (i.e., reducing maladaptive avoidance behavior). Using spider phobia as a concrete example of maladaptive avoidance more generally, we show simulations indicating that when conscious beliefs about safety/danger have strong interactions with affective/behavioral outcomes, behavioral change during exposure therapy is mediated by changes in these beliefs, preventing generalization. In contrast, when these interactions are weakened, and cognitive restructuring only induces belief uncertainty (as opposed to strong safety beliefs), behavior change leads to generalized learning (i.e., “over-writing” the implicit beliefs about action-outcome mappings that directly produce avoidance). The individual is therefore equipped to face any new context, safe or dangerous, remaining in a content state without the need for avoidance behavior—increasing resilience from a CBT perspective. These results show how the same changes in behavior during CBT can be due to distinct underlying mechanisms; they predict lower rates of relapse when cognitive interventions focus on inducing uncertainty and on reducing the effects of automatic negative thoughts on behavior.

Type: Article
Title: Simulating the computational mechanisms of cognitive and behavioral psychotherapeutic interventions: insights from active inference
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-89047-0
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-89047-0
Language: English
Additional information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Imaging Neuroscience
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10130027
Downloads since deposit
0Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item