There’s a gap in cognitive neuroscience. The psychological understanding of mental disorders addresses clinical symptoms and can offer some relief, but scientists need more to discover the underlying causes. They need math.

Researchers at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute are teaming up with neuroscientists the world over to address that gap. Dubbed Computational Psychiatry, the journal shares its name with the relatively new scientific field. MIT Press launched the journal this spring.

“Computational Psychiatry is an exciting collaboration whose time has come,” said Read Montague, director of the Computational Psychiatry Unit at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute. “Clinicians and computational neuroscientists are joining together to develop next-generation solutions to the problems surrounding mental health.”

Montague co-edits the journal with Peter Dayan, director of the Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit at University College London. They’ve recruited more than 60 cognitive neuroscientists to peer review submitted articles. The articles are published continuously online, and the journal is open access.

“There’s a need for a quantitative approach to understanding diseases of the mind, and there’s a substantial demand for a publication to capture innovations in the field,” said Justin King, assistant director of information technology and data management at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute. He is also the managing editor of the journal.

The plan, according to King, is to build a community around the journal.

“We hope to host an annual or biannual conference on computational psychiatry,” said King. “Our goal is to highlight innovative work that pushes forward the understanding of, and ultimately solves, mental health issues.”

Computational Psychiatry is now accepting papers.

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