When you are a medical student you get to spend time working in each specialty – for example as a heart doctor or a kidney doctor. I did this in London and Cambridge Universities and realised I wasn’t very interested in the heart (it’s basically just a pump) or the kidney (it’s a filter). What really interested me was the brain—I wanted to understand how it worked, how it allowed people to have all the experiences we do have, why it stops working properly when people become unwell and how it might be fixed.
I try to answer these questions in my research is by building “computational models” – simple computer programs that mimic how the brain learns and makes decisions. I use these models to try and understand how drug and talking treatments might best help people who are depressed or anxious (http://www.wired.co.uk/article/human-behaviour-learning-computer-model-d…).