There is growing interest in the use of neuroimaging for the direct treatment of mental illness. Here, we present a new framework for such treatment, neurocognitive therapeutics. What distinguishes neurocognitive therapeutics from prior approaches is the use of precise brain-decoding techniques within a real-time feedback system, in order to adapt treatment online and tailor feedback to individuals' needs. We report an initial feasibility study that uses this framework to alter negative attention bias in a small number of patients experiencing significant mood symptoms. The results are consistent with the promise of neurocognitive therapeutics to improve mood symptoms and alter brain networks mediating attentional control. Future work should focus on optimizing the approach, validating its effectiveness, and expanding the scope of targeted disorders.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Biological Psychiatry
- Attention bias
- Mood disorders
- Multivoxel pattern analysis (MVPA)
- Real-time neurofeedback