Resources and ProcessIng of linguistic, para-linguistic and extra-linguistic Data from people with various forms of cognitive/psychiatric/developmental impairments (RaPID-3, afternoon session, Monday, 11th of May 2020, Marseille, France)
There is a growing interest among healthcare professionals and clinicians to apply non-invasive, time and cost-effective, easy-to-measure techniques as a complement to the battery of medical and clinical examinations currently undertaken for the early diagnosis or monitoring of brain and mental disorders.
Although many of the causes of cognitive and neuropsychiatric impairments are difficult to foresee and accurately predict, physicians and clinicians work with a wide range of factors that potentially contribute to such impairments, e.g., traumatic brain injuries, genetic predispositions, side effects of medication, and congenital anomalies. In this context, there is new evidence that the acquisition and processing of linguistic data (e.g., spontaneous story telling) and extra-linguistic and production measures (e.g., from eye tracking, wearable devices or sensors) could be used as a complement to the clinical diagnosis and also provide the foundation for future development of objective criteria to be used for identifying progressive decline or degeneration of normal mental and brain functioning.
An important new area of research in Natural Language Processing (NLP) emphasizes the processing, analysis, and interpretation of such data. Current research in this field, based on linguistic-oriented analysis of text and speech produced by such a population and compared to healthy adults, has shown promising outcomes. This is manifested in early diagnosis and prediction of individuals at risk, the differentiation of individuals with various degrees of severity forms of brain and mental illness, and for the monitoring of the progression of such conditions through the longitudinal analysis of language samples or other para and extra-linguistic measurements. Initially, work was based on written data but there is a rapidly growing body of research based on spoken samples and other modalities.
Nevertheless, there remains significant work to be done to arrive at more accurate estimates for prediction and classification purposes in the future and more research is required in order to reliably complement the battery of medical and clinical examinations currently undertaken for the early diagnosis or monitoring of, e.g., neurodegenerative and other brain and mental disorders and accordingly, aid the development of new, non-invasive, time and cost-effective and objective (future) clinical tests in neurology, psychology, and psychiatry.