A computational analysis of abnormal belief-updating processes and their association with psychotic experiences and childhood trauma in a UK birth cohort

Croft, Jazz, Teufel, Christoph, Heron, Jon, Fletcher, Paul C., David, Anthony S., Lewis, Glyn, Moutoussis, Michael, FitzGerald, Thomas H. B. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3855-1591, Linden, David E. J., Thompson, Andrew, Jones, Peter B., Cannon, Mary, Holmans, Peter, Adams, Rick A. and Zammit, Stan (2022) A computational analysis of abnormal belief-updating processes and their association with psychotic experiences and childhood trauma in a UK birth cohort. Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging, 7 (7). pp. 725-734. ISSN 2451-9022

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Background: Psychotic experiences emerge from abnormalities in perception and belief formation and occur more commonly in those experiencing childhood trauma. However, which precise aspects of belief formation are atypical in psychosis is not well understood. We used a computational modeling approach to characterize belief updating in young adults in the general population, examine their relationship with psychotic outcomes and trauma, and determine the extent to which they mediate the trauma-psychosis relationship. Methods: We used data from 3360 individuals from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children birth cohort who completed assessments for psychotic outcomes, depression, anxiety, and two belief updating tasks at age 24 and had data available on traumatic events assessed from birth to late adolescence. Unadjusted and adjusted regression and counterfactual mediation methods were used for the analyses. Results: Basic behavioral measures of belief updating (draws-to-decision and disconfirmatory updating) were not associated with psychotic experiences. However, computational modeling revealed an association between increased decision noise with both psychotic experiences and trauma exposure, although <3% of the trauma–psychotic experience association was mediated by decision noise. Belief updating measures were also associated with intelligence and sociodemographic characteristics, confounding most of the associations with psychotic experiences. There was little evidence that belief updating parameters were differentially associated with delusions compared with hallucinations or that they were differentially associated with psychotic outcomes compared with depression or anxiety. Conclusions: These findings challenge the hypothesis that atypical belief updating mechanisms (as indexed by the computational models and behavioral measures we used) underlie the development of psychotic phenomena.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding Information: The UK Medical Research Council (MRC), Wellcome (Grant No. 217065/Z/19/Z), and the University of Bristol provide core support for ALSPAC. This research was specifically funded by MRC Grant No. MR/M006727/1. JC is supported by the Noble Foundation; RAA is an MRC Skills Development Fellow (Grant No. MR/S007806/1 [to SZ]) and has been supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) University College London Hospital Biomedical Research Centre (BRC); and SZ and JH are supported by the NIHR Bristol BRC at University Hospitals Bristol, Weston NHS Foundation Trust, and the University of Bristol. PCF is funded by a Wellcome Trust Investigator Award (Grant No. 49 206368/Z/17/Z) and by the Bernard Wolfe Health Neuroscience Fund.
Uncontrolled Keywords: alspac,belief updating,childhood trauma,cognition,computational psychiatry,psychosis,radiology nuclear medicine and imaging,clinical neurology,cognitive neuroscience,biological psychiatry ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2700/2741
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Psychology
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 04 Jan 2022 11:31
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2022 16:34
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/82865
DOI: 10.1016/j.bpsc.2021.12.007

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