Model-Based Control in Dimensional Psychiatry

Valerie Voon, Andrea Reiter, Miriam Sebold, Stephanie Groman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


We use parallel interacting goal-directed and habitual strategies to make our daily decisions. The arbitration between these strategies is relevant to inflexible repetitive behaviors in psychiatric disorders. Goal-directed control, also known as model-based control, is based on an affective outcome relying on a learned internal model to prospectively make decisions. In contrast, habit control, also known as model-free control, is based on an integration of previous reinforced learning autonomous of the current outcome value and is implicit and more efficient but at the cost of greater inflexibility. The concept of model-based control can be further extended into pavlovian processes. Here we describe and compare tasks that tap into these constructs and emphasize the clinical relevance and translation of these tasks in psychiatric disorders. Together, these findings highlight a role for model-based control as a transdiagnostic impairment underlying compulsive behaviors and representing a promising therapeutic target.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)391-400
Number of pages10
JournalBiological psychiatry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 15 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Society of Biological Psychiatry


  • Addictions
  • Binge eating
  • Compulsivity
  • Computational psychiatry
  • Goal-directed control
  • Habit
  • Model-based control
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder


Dive into the research topics of 'Model-Based Control in Dimensional Psychiatry'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this