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BMI Seminar // Apathy in patients with schizophrenia - an impairment of goal-directed behavior


Event details

Date and time 31.10.2018 12:1513:15  
Place and room
Speaker Stefan Kaiser, Clinical and Experimental Psychopathology, Dept. Of Psychiatry, University of Geneva, Switzerland
Category Conferences - Seminars

Apathy is a common and debilitating negative symptom of schizophrenia and other neuropsychiatric disorders. While originally defined as an impairment of motivation, apathy has recently been defined as a quantitative reduction of goal-directed behavior. Treatment options for apathy remain very limited, in particular for patients with schizophrenia.
In this talk I will present a research program that aims to develop a model for apathy that spans the phenomenological, process and neurobiological levels of description. Particular attention will be paid to recent research that has identified dysfunctions in specific processes underlying goal-directed behavior, including the generation of options for action, effort-based decision-making and reinforcement learning.  On the neural level the most consistent association with apathy has been found for ventral striatal hypoactivation during the anticipation of rewards, but recent studies suggest a more general impairment of the coding of reward information. Overall, these findings are beginning to suggest potential targets for biological and psychological treatment approaches.

Practical information

  • Informed public
  • Free


  • SV BMI Host : M. Herzog


  • brain_mind@epfl.ch