The School of Psychology and Neuroscience is hosting a seminar by Dr Susannah Murphy from the University of Oxford on
‘Using experimental models of affective bias to optimise the treatment of depression'
‘Depression is associated with negative affective biases in information processing, including a tendency to focus on, interpret and remember negative information. These biases are not only relevant to psychological treatment approaches, but also play a role in pharmacological treatment. Antidepressants have been shown to reduce negative affective biases using both behavioural and neuroimaging measures of emotional processing in healthy volunteers and depressed patients. These effects on emotional processing are seen early in antidepressant administration and are predictive of later clinical treatment response, suggesting that early changes in emotional processing can serve as valid surrogate markers of therapeutic efficacy. Using this approach, affective bias measures can be used to assist 'go/no-go' decision making in antidepressant drug development, and improve subsequent clinical trial design, dosing and stratification. In this talk, I will highlight why we need to develop new antidepressant treatments and the challenges involved in this process. I will then present our work looking at the effects of antidepressants on affective bias. Finally, I will give some examples of how we have worked in collaboration with pharmaceutical industry to use cognitive biomarkers to screen novel candidate treatments for depression in humans.'