UMMS Affiliation

Center for Mindfulness; Department of Psychiatry

Publication Date


Document Type



Behavioral Disciplines and Activities | Computational Neuroscience | Mental and Social Health | Mental Disorders | Psychiatry | Psychiatry and Psychology


Social dysfunction is a prominent and disabling aspect of borderline personality disorder. We reconsider traditional explanations for this problem, especially early disruption in the way an infant feels physical care from its mother, in terms of recent developments in computational psychiatry. In particular, social learning may depend on reinforcement learning though embodied simulations. Such modeling involves calculations based on structures outside the brain such as face and hands, calculations on one's own body that are used to make inferences about others. We discuss ways to test the role of embodied simulation in BPD and potential implications for treatment.


associative learning, attachment, borderline personality disorder, computational psychiatry, embodied simulation

Rights and Permissions

Copyright: © 2014 Fineberg, Steinfeld, Brewer and Corlett. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

DOI of Published Version



Front Psychiatry. 2014 Aug 27;5:111. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2014.00111. eCollection 2014. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Frontiers in psychiatry

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.