Turing and Oxford Psychiatry join forces on machine learning and mood disorder research

Posted on 24th January 2018

The Alan Turing Institute and University of Oxford are launching a new collaboration bringing together the fields of psychiatry and data science. In partnership, Turing and Oxford will be developing language processing techniques that are effective for the assessment of mood.

This project, which has been awarded seed-funding from the Turing, seeks to address mental health disorders such as bipolar disorder, a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels and individuals’ ability to carry out daily tasks.  It will analyse existing audio and textual datasets of recorded speech of people with mood disorders.

By using transcribed and raw audio data, it will examine the way people use language, their length of sentences and speech cadences in order to develop effective mood assessment techniques. Another goal is providing proof of concept for automated mood prediction and pattern recognition through audio recordings. This is an important step in advancing our understanding of mental health disorders and in eventually diagnosing and treating them.

The project has created the opportunity for a new research position, benefiting from the combined expertise into mental health disorders at the University of Oxford’s Department of Psychiatry and the mathematical and computer science expertise of The Alan Turing Institute, based at the British Library in London.

The project will be overseen by The Alan Turing Institute’s Professor Terry Lyons and Dr Maria Liakata as well as Professor John Geddes and Dr Kate Saunders from the Oxford Department of Psychiatry.

Professor Lyons and Dr Liakata develop data science with the aim of making a clinical contribution to treating mental health disorders. Professor Geddes and Dr Saunders lead an interdisciplinary research programme exploring mood dysregulation across a range of mental disorders including bipolar disorder.

Find out more about the work of John Geddes, Kate Saunders, Terry Lyons and Maria Liakata.

Read more about the University of Oxford Department of Psychiatry.

Learn more about Turing’s ‘Data Science for Mental Health’ interest group.