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SUMMER PROGRAM IN COMPUTATIONAL PSYCHIATRY EDUCATION

Sunset Over New York City

 

SPICE 2024: July 27th - August 21st
Applications are now closed. We look forward to welcoming the new cohort!

What is SPICE?

The Summer Program in Computational Psychiatry Education provides an opportunity for high-school and college students aged 16 and up to work alongside computational psychiatry researchers at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, assisting 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 inquisitive and demonstrate a strong interest in psychiatric or neuroscience research. Over the course of the program, trainees will undergo a 2-week workshop 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 in the summer starting June, meeting Monday-Friday from 9:30am-4:30pm. The lecture series will be held in the first two weeks, 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A detailed overview of the educational track modules and materials can be found here.

Guest Lecture

Title: Science and Ethics

Speaker: Dr. Matan Mazor (University of Oxford, All Souls College) 

Frequently Asked Questions

Will the program be virtual this year?

  • We are excited to offer the program in person this year.


When does the program take place?

  • SPICE takes place in summer 2024, between June 27th and August 21st, during working hours (9:30 am - 5pm), except on holidays.

 

What are the eligibility criteria?

  • Students should be at least 16 years old to apply for this program, and at least sophomores in high school. Additionally, it is highly recommended for local students to attend SPICE in-person, if possible.


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.

For the application - How do I write a resume? 

  • If you haven’t written a resume before, don't stress! We just want to learn more about you and see what experience you've had with neuroscience/biology/psychology/coding (if any). This helps us see if the program is a good fit for your goals and helps us pair you with a mentor. Here are some recommended resources:

Resumes:

https://careerservices.upenn.edu/preparing-effective-resumes/undergraduates-student-resume-samples/ 

https://www.asvabprogram.com/media-center-article/64 

https://www.shemmassianconsulting.com/blog/high-school-resume 

Suggested Readings

Overview Papers:

  • Bennett, D., Silverstein, S. M., & Niv, Y. (2019). The Two Cultures of Computational Psychiatry. JAMA Psychiatry, 76(6), 563–564. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2019.0231

  • Bishop, S. J., & Gagne, C. (2018). Anxiety, depression, and decision making: a computational perspective. Annual review of neuroscience, 41, 371-388.

  • 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 (2016): 404–13. https://doi.org/10.1038/nn.4238.

  • Lockwood, P. L., Apps, M. A. J., & Chang, S. W. C. (2020). Is there a “social” brain? Implementations and algorithms. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 1–12.

  • 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 (2012): 72–80. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tics.2011.11.018.

Relevant Lab Publications:

  • Berner, L. A., Fiore, V. G., Chen, J. Y., Krueger, A., Kaye, W. H., Viranda, T., & de Wit, S. (2023). Impaired belief updating and devaluation in adult women with bulimia nervosa. Translational Psychiatry, 13(1), 1–9. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41398-022-02257-6

  • Gu, X., FitzGerald, T. H., & Friston, K. J. (2019). Modeling subjective belief states in computational psychiatry: Interoceptive inference as a candidate framework. Psychopharmacology, 236(8), 2405–2412. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00213-019-05300-5

  • Radulescu, A., Niv, Y., & Ballard, I. (2019). Holistic reinforcement learning: the role of structure and attention. Trends in cognitive sciences, 23(4), 278-292.

  • Saez, I., & Gu, X. (2022). Invasive Computational Psychiatry. Biological Psychiatry. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2022.09.032

  • Schafer, M., & Schiller, D. (2018). Navigating Social Space. Neuron, 100(2), 476–489. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2018.10.006

Please feel free to email Alisa and Shawn (spice.sinai(at)gmail(dot)com) if you need access to any of these papers!

Contact
spice.sinai(at)gmail(dot)com

Leadership:

Alisa Loosen 

Shawn Rhoads 

Xiaosi Gu

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