Automatic Analysis of Mental Health by Machine Learning

PhD project of Martin, and ongoing research.


This project focuses on improving the understanding of mental disorders, such as bipolar disorder, depression, autism, and more, which often remain undiagnosed or misdiagnosed for years, negatively affecting individuals and communities. Previous studies have shown that facial expressions can reflect mental health conditions, revealing differences in emotional responses between individuals with bipolar disorder and healthy controls which provides a promising direction for further research. So far neural networks, including Long-Short-Term-Memory (LSTM) and Multi-Layer Perceptron networks, have been utilized on video data to classify mental disorders. While these approaches yield encouraging results, they primarily concentrate on classification and prediction without deeper understanding.

Building on this foundation, our research aims to explore various data modalities, including speech, facial expressions, and behavioral interactions, using advanced machine learning techniques specifically developed for this purpose. These new algorithms, tailored to individual or combined modalities, i.e. multi-modal approaches, are designed to uncover novel insights into the mental disorders. For example, studies on postpartum depression have uncovered asynchrony between mothers and their children. In the future we hope to help with the identification of subgroups within groups of people with the same diagnosis. Those findings can then be employed in personalized healthcare. Ultimately, this could pave the way for automated diagnostics in mental health care, revolutionizing treatment and intervention strategies, and making it more accessible to everyone.

Comment on Current Work

I am working hard on contributing to advancements in the field of mental health by conducting research in the area of Machine Learning in mental health applications. In 2023 I was honoured to receive a grant from the Lundbeck Foundation supporting this line of research for a one year project together with Louise Birkedal Glenthøj.

Furthermore, in end of 2023, we welcomed Martin Lund Trinhammer as a PhD student funded by the Pioneer Centre for Artificial Intelligence to work on topics in this domain. As recipient, I am grateful being the Principal Investigator.