SUMMER PROGRAM IN COMPUTATIONAL PSYCHIATRY EDUCATION

What is SPICE?
The Summer Program in Computational Psychiatry Education provides an opportunity for high school students and college aged 16 and up to work alongside computational psychiatry researchers at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and assist in cutting-edge basic and clinical research. 

Program Overview
SPICE is a 8-week research program offered to high school and college students at the Center for Computational Psychiatry at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Prospective trainees should be independent, motivated and inquistive and demonstrate a strong interest in psychiatric or neuroscience research. Over the course of the program, trainees will undergo a 2-week intensive lecture series about the basics of neuroscience, psychiatry, and computational sciences, and spend the remaining time completing a basic research project under the supervision of CCN graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and/or faculty.

SPICE will take place from July 6 - Aug 30, meeting Monday-Friday from 9:30am-4:30pm. The lecture series will be held from July 6-16, see Syllabus below a list of covered topics. Training sessions will be highly interactive, with students learning about the latest neuroscientific literature, designing their own research questions, and presenting interesting journal articles to classmates. 

Syllabus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions
Will the program be virtual this year?
Due to the COVID pandemic, all lectures and training sessions will be held virtually. Trainees will still be expected to be available during work hours (9:30am - 4:30pm) during the full 8-week program. However, trainees who are fully vaccinated and close to the NYC area are encouraged to visit the lab and work in-person!

When does the program take place?
SPICE takes place from July 6 - August 30, on weekdays from 9:30am - 4:30pm.

Where is the Center for Computational Psychiatry at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai?
Our center is located in Harlem at 55 W 125st St, New York, NY 10027. The main Mount Sinai campus is located further south in East Harlem at 1492 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10029.

What does a typical day at SPICE look like?
For the first two weeks of the program, trainees will have morning lecture sessions about the basics of neuroscience/psychiatry and computational science (see Syllabus). Here, they will receive the necessary prerequisite training to begin working on their independent project. Afternoon sessions will be spent completing homework, and brainstorming and designing research questions. In the remaining six weeks, trainees will spend their morning and afternoon sessions completing their independent research projects under the supervision of their research mentor.

Is there homework? Are there tests or grades?
During the first two weeks, trainees should expect to complete homework that will help solidify their knowledge of important neuroscience and computational science concepts. There are no grades and no tests, but trainees should expect to be challenged with reading research articles, conducting experiments, and preparing a final presentation at the end of the program. Punctuality and daily attendance is mandatory.

Suggested Readings

Overview Papers:

  1. Montague, P. Read, Raymond J. Dolan, Karl J. Friston, and Peter Dayan. “Computational Psychiatry.” Trends in Cognitive Sciences, Special Issue: Cognition in Neuropsychiatric Disorders, 16, no. 1 (January 1, 2012): 72–80. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tics.2011.11.018.

  2. Huys, Quentin J M, Tiago V Maia, and Michael J Frank. “Computational Psychiatry as a Bridge from Neuroscience to Clinical Applications.” Nature Neuroscience 19, no. 3 (March 2016): 404–13. https://doi.org/10.1038/nn.4238.

  3. Jolly, Eshin, and Luke J. Chang. “The Flatland Fallacy: Moving Beyond Low–Dimensional Thinking.” Topics in Cognitive Science 11, no. 2 (2019): 433–54. https://doi.org/10.1111/tops.12404.

  4. Browning, M., Behrens, T. E., Jocham, G., O'Reilly, J. X., & Bishop, S. J. (2015). Anxious individuals have difficulty learning the causal statistics of aversive environments. Nat Neurosci, 18(4), 590-596. https://doi.org/10.1038/nn.3961.

  5. Gillan, C. M., Kosinski, M., Whelan, R., Phelps, E. A., & Daw, N. D. (2016). Characterizing a psychiatric symptom dimension related to deficits in goal-directed control. Elife, 5. https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.11305.

Relevant Lab Publications:

  1. Gu, Xiaosi, and Francesca Filbey. “A Bayesian Observer Model of Drug Craving.” JAMA Psychiatry 74, no. 4 (April 1, 2017): 419–20. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2016.3823.

  2. Gu, Xiaosi, Thomas H. B. Fitzgerald, and Karl J. Friston. “Modeling Subjective Belief States in Computational Psychiatry: Interoceptive Inference as a Candidate Framework.” Psychopharmacology 236, no. 8 (August 1, 2019): 2405–12. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00213-019-05300-5.

  3. Schafer, Matthew, and Daniela Schiller. “Navigating Social Space.” Neuron 100, no. 2 (October 24, 2018): 476–89. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2018.10.006.

How to Apply
Applications are closed for Summer 2021.

Contact
Graduate Student Leadership:
Kaustubh Kulkarni: kaustubh.kulkarni@icahn.mssm.edu
Sarah Banker: sarah.banker@icahn.mssm.edu
Faculty Leadership:
Xiaosi Gu: xiaosi.gu@icahn.mssm.edu