COMPASS: An open-source, general-purpose software toolkit for computational psychiatry

Ali Yousefi, Angelique C. Paulk, Ishita Basu, Darin D. Dougherty, Emad N. Eskandar, Uri T. Eden, Alik S. Widge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mathematical modeling of behavior during psychophysical tasks, referred to as "computational psychiatry", could greatly improve our understanding of mental disorders. One barrier to broader adoption of computational methods is that they often require advanced programming skills. We developed the Computational Psychiatry Adaptive State-Space (COMPASS) toolbox, an open-source MATLAB-based software package. After specifying a few parameters in a small set of user-friendly functions, COMPASS allows the user to efficiently fit of a wide range of computational behavioral models. The model output can be analyzed as an experimental outcome or used as a regressor for neural data, and can be tested using goodness-of-fit methods. Here, we demonstrate that COMPASS can replicate two computational behavior analyses from different groups. COMPASS replicates and, in one case, slightly improves on the original modeling results. This flexible, general-purpose toolkit should accelerate the use of computational modeling in psychiatric neuroscience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalUnknown Journal
StatePublished - Jul 27 2018


  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Computational Methods
  • Computational Psychiatry
  • Mathematical Behavioral Analysis
  • Open Source Software
  • State-Space Modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

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