Information seeking in health and disease

Year of award: 2018


  • Dr Tali Sharot

    University College London

Project summary

The pursuit of knowledge feeds intellectual development and social engagement. It is thought that the desire to seek information is altered in people with common psychiatric conditions including depression and anxiety. The precise links between information seeking and mental health have not been established and we know little about how to quantify the way we seek information or the neural mechanisms involved.

I have developed tasks to quantify distinct drivers of information seeking. I will test participants to assess links between abnormal influence of these drivers and symptoms of mental illness. I will also examine whether certain psychotropic drugs alter information-seeking behaviour and characterise the underlying neural mechanisms behind this. Additional studies will examine how patterns of information-seeking affect mental health.

My findings could be used to aid diagnosis and the choice of treatment for people with psychiatric conditions.