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Erdem Pulcu, PhD

Erdem Pulcu, PhD

Erdem Pulcu


Postdoctoral Researcher

  • Psychopharmacology and Emotion Research Lab
  • Computational Psychiatry Lab

I obtained my doctoral degree from University of Manchester Medical School in 2014, studying social and value-based decision-making impairments in patients with major depressive disorder and their neurobiology. After my graduation, I have worked as a postdoctoral researcher in RIKEN Brain Sciences Institute (Tokyo) and Center for Information and Neural Networks (CiNet; Osaka) working on computational models of decision-making under uncertainty and in competitive, social interactive games.

I am interested in investigating models of reinforcement learning and social interactive decision-making in patients with depression and healthy volunteers undergoing pharmacological manipulation.

Follow the link below to a brief animation explaining the logic behind some of our ongoing research into major depression and negative biases

My other interests involve evolutionary models of human social behaviours. 

Pulcu E., Saunders KEA., Harmer CJ., Harrison PJ, Goodwin GM, Geddes JR, Browning M. (2022). Using a generative model of affect to characterize affective variability and its response to treatment in bipolar disorder. PNAS, 119 (28).

Murphy, D. A., Xie, J., Harmer, C. J., Browning, M., & Pulcu, E. (2022). Dynamic modulation of inequality aversion in human interpersonal negotiations. Communications Biology5(1), 1-14.


Pulcu E, Guinea C, Cowen PJ, Murphy SE, Harmer CJ (2021). A translational perspective on the anti-anhedonic effect of ketamine and its neural underpinnings. Molecular Psychiatry

Pulcu E and Browning M (2019). The Misestimation of Uncertainty in Affective Disorders. Trends in Cognitive Sciences. DOI:

Pulcu E, Shkreli L, Holst CH, Woud M, Craske M, Browning M, Reinecke A (2019). The effects of the angiotensin II receptor antagonist losartan on appetitive versus aversive learning. Biological Psychiatry. DOI:

Pulcu E and Haruno M (2019). Value computations underlying human proposer behavior in the ultimatum game. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General  

Pulcu E and Browning M (2017). Affective bias as a Rational response to the Statistics of Rewards and Punishments. eLife 2017; 6: e27879 doi:  10.7554/eLife.27879 

Pulcu E and Browning M (2017). Using Computational Psychiatry to Rule out the Hidden Causes of Depression. JAMA Psychiatry doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2017.1500 

Pulcu E and Elliott R (2015). Neural origins of psychosocial functioning impairments in Major Depression. The Lancet Psychiatry 2(9): 835-843 DOI: DOI: 10.1016/S2215-0366(15)00237-0 

Pulcu E, Thomas EJ, Trotter,  McFarquhar, Juhasz, Sahakian, Deakin, Zahn, Anderson, Elliott R (2015). Social economical decision making in current and remitted major depression. Psychological Medicine DOI:10.1017/S0033291714002414 

Pulcu E, Zahn R, Moll, Trotter, Thomas, Juhasz, Deakin, Anderson, Sahakian, Elliott R (2014). Enhanced subgenual cingulate response to altruistic decisions in remitted major depressive disorder. Neuroimage:Clinical (4): 701-710. DOI:10.1016/j.nicl.2014.04.010

Pulcu E, Trotter P, Thomas, McFarquhar, Juhasz, Sahakian, Deakin, Zahn, Anderson, Elliott R (2014). Temporal discounting in major depressive disorder. Psychological Medicine 43 (12):1-10 DOI:10.1017/S0033291713002584