Peter Smittenaar


I am a freelance researcher and data scientist interested in improving human health through technology and data. I work with Hinge Health to bring convenient and effective care to people living with chronic knee or low back pain. I also work with Surgo Foundation in Washington D.C. to develop machine learning-driven solutions for practitioners in international development. I also worked with Healum, a yougn company working to tackle chronic disease.

Prior to this I was the science lead in the Citizen Science team at Cancer Research UK. We developed mobile and web-based applications that let over 500k people help out with large-scale data analysis projects in cancer research.

In April 2015 I finished my PhD in neuroscience (pdf) with Ray Dolan at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging at UCL. This work on the neuroscience of decision-making and reward learning was the foundation for my Henry Wellcome fellowship to do 4 years of independent post-doctoral research, which I ended up foregoing.

I am also one of the developers of The Great Brain Experiment, a smartphone game that collects behavioural science data from across the population with 130k users and counting.


Academic publications

PhD thesis

Smittenaar, P. (2015) Action control in uncertain environments. [pdf]

2017

Smittenaar, P., Kurth-Nelson, Z., Mohammadi, S., Weiskopf, N., Dolan, R.J.
Local striatal reward signals can be predicted from corticostriatal connectivity
NeuroImage, vol 159, p9-17 [html]

Rutledge, R.B., Moutoussis, M., Smittenaar, P., Zeidman, P., Taylor, T., Hrynkiewicz, L., Lam, J., Skandali, N., Siegel, J.Z., Ousdal, O.T., Prabhu, G., Dayan, P., Fonagy, P., Dolan, R.J.
Association of Neural and Emotional Impacts of Reward Prediction Errors With Major Depression.
JAMA Psychiatry, 74(8):790-797 [html]

Smittenaar, P., Erhart-Hledik,J.C., Kinsella, R., Hunter, S., Mecklenburg, G., Perez, D.
Translating comprehensive conservative care for chronic knee pain into a Digital Care Pathway: 12-week and 6-month outcomes for the Hinge Health program.
JMIR Rehabil Assist Technol 2017;4(1):e4 [html]

Lawson, J., Robinson-Vyas, R.J., McQuillan, J.P., Paterson, A., Christie, S., Kidza-Griffiths, M., McDuffus, L-A., Moutasim, K.A., Shaw, E.C., Kiltie, A.E., Howat, W.J., Hanby, A.M., Thomas, G.J., Smittenaar, P.
Crowdsourcing for translational research: analysis of biomarker expression using cancer microarrays
British Journal of Cancer 116, 237-245. doi:10.1038/bjc.2016.404 [html]

2016

Keramati, M., Smittenaar, P., Dolan, R.J., Dayan, P.
Adaptive integration of habits into depth-limited planning defines a habitual-goal-directed spectrum.
PNAS doi:10.1073/pnas.1609094113 [html | pdf]

Rutledge, R.B., Smittenaar, P., Zeidman, P., Brown, H.R., Adams, R.A., Lindenberger, U., Dayan, P., Dolan, R.J.
Risk Taking for Potential Rewards Decreases Across the Lifespan.
Current Biology vol. 26, issue 12, page 1634 - 1639 [html | pdf]

2015

Smittenaar, P., Rutledge, R.B., Zeidman, P., Adams, R.A., Brown, H.R., Lewis, G., Dolan, R.J.
Proactive and reactive response inhibition across the lifespan
PLOS ONE 10.1371/journal.pone.0140383 [html | pdf | data]

McNab, F., Zeidman, P., Rutledge, R.B., Smittenaar, P., Brown, H.R., Adams, R.A., Dolan, R.J.
Age-related changes in working memory and the ability to ignore distraction
PNAS doi: 10.1073/pnas.1504162112 [html | pdf]

2014

Brown, H.R., Zeidman, P., Smittenaar, P., Adams, R.A., McNab, F., Rutledge, R.B., Dolan, R.J.
Crowdsourcing for Cognitive Science - the utility of smartphones
PLoS ONE 9(7): e100662 [pubmed | pdf]

Aarts, E., Nusselein, A.A., Smittenaar, P., Helmich, R.C., Bloem, B.R., Cools, R.
Greater striatal responses to medication in Parkinson's disease are associated with better task-switching but worse reward performance.
Neuropsychologia (in press). [pubmed | pdf]

Callaghan, M.F., Freund, P., Draganski, B., Anderson, E., Cappelletti, M., Chowdhury, R., Diedrichsen, J., FitzGerald, T.H.B., Smittenaar, P., Helms, G., Lutti, A., Weiskopf, N.
Wide-spread age-related differences in human brain microstructure revealed by quantitative MRI.
Neurobiology of Aging, 35 (8), 1862-1872. [pubmed | pdf]

Smittenaar, P., Prichard, G., FitzGerald, T.H., Diedrichsen, J., Dolan, R.J.
Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation of Right Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex Does Not Affect Model-Based or Model-Free Reinforcement Learning in Humans.
PLoS ONE 9(1), e86850. [pubmed | pdf]

2013

Smittenaar, P., Guitart-Masip, M., Lutti, A., Dolan, R.J.
Preparing for Selective Inhibition within Frontostriatal Loops.
The Journal of Neuroscience, 33(46), 18087-18097. [pubmed | pdf]

Smittenaar, P., FitzGerald, T.H., Romei, V., Wright, N.D., Dolan, R.J.
Disruption of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex decreases model-based in favor of model-free control in humans.
Neuron, 80(4), 914-919. [pubmed | pdf | supplement]

2012

Wunderlich, K.*, Smittenaar, P.*, Dolan, R.J. (*equal contribution)
Dopamine enhances model-based over model-free choice behavior.
Neuron, 75(3), 418-424. [pubmed | pdf | supplement]

Smittenaar, P., Chase, H.W., Aarts, E., Nusselein, B., Bloem, B.R., Cools, R.
Decomposing effects of dopaminergic medication in Parkinson's disease on probabilistic action selection-learning or performance?
European Journal of Neuroscience, 35(7), 1144-1151. [pubmed | pdf | supplement]

2008

Lowik, D.W., Meijer, J.T., Minten, I.J., Van Kalkeren, H., Heckenmuller, L., Schulten, I., Sliepen, K., Smittenaar, P., Van Hest, J.
Controlled disassembly of peptide amphiphile fibres.
Journal of Peptide Science, 14(2), 127-133. [pubmed | pdf]