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Purpose of Review: The prevalence of affective disorders is on the rise. This upward trajectory leads to a substantial personal and societal cost. There is growing body of literature demonstrating decision-making impairments associated with affective disorders, and more studies are using computational modelling methods to infer underlying mechanisms of these impairments from participant choice behaviour. However, lack of population modelling suggests that data resources may still be underutilised. Recent Findings: A number of recent studies associated major depression with abnormal risky decision-making as well as impairments in temporal discounting and social decision-making. These domains capture relevant aspects of real-life decision-making. Consequently, data from these studies can be used to define behavioural phenotypes for major depression. Summary: The manuscript describes a detailed proposal for population modelling to capture changes in the prevalence rate of major depression. The population modelling approach can also identify which decision-making domains can account for a larger part of impairments in psychosocial functioning and how behavioural interventions built on computational principles can target these to improve real-life psychosocial functioning in patient groups.

Original publication




Journal article


Curr Behav Neurosci Rep

Publication Date



1 - 7


Computational modelling, Evolutionary biology, Major depression, Risk, Social decision-making, Temporal discounting