"Computational Modeling of Cognition-Emotion Interactions:
Relevance to Mechanisms of Affective Disorders and Therapeutic Action"
Recent years have witnessed an increasing interest in developing computational models of emotion and emotion-cognition interaction, within the emerging area of computational affective science. At the same time, emotion theorists and clinical psychologists have been recognizing the importance of moving beyond descriptive characterizations of affective disorders, and identifying the underlying mechanisms that mediate both psychopathology and psychotherapeutic action.
Computational models of cognition-emotion interactions have the potential to facilitate more accurate assessment and diagnosis of affective disorders, and to provide a basis for more efficient and targeted approaches to treatment, through an improved understanding of the mechanisms of therapeutic action.
In spite of the significant synergy that could result from a dialogue among researchers and practitioners in affective modeling, emotion research and clinical psychology, limited interaction exists among these communities. The goal of this workshop is to provide a forum for interdisciplinary dialog among the members of these research communities, and explore how computational models of emotion-cognition interaction can help elucidate the mechanisms mediating affective disorders, as well as the mechanisms of therapeutic action.
Keith Oatley, University of Toronto: “The cognitive bases of emotions, emotional disorders, and psychotherapy”
To facilitate cross-disciplinary discussions and interaction, the workshop format will emphasize moderated panels, small working groups, and open discussion, in addition to the traditional paper sessions. To this end, we encourage submissions of proposals for discussion topics, panels, small working groups.
Relevant topics include:
- Which processes mediating cognition-emotion interactions are sufficiently well understood to support computational modeling (e.g., affective biases on attention & perception; emotion regulation; cognitive appraisal)?
- How can models of these processes contribute to an understanding of the mechanisms of therapeutic action, across different types of psychotherapies (e.g., cognitive, psychodynamic, emotion-focused)?
- A number of therapeutic techniques have been shown to be effective (e.g., exposure to feared stimuli, acknowledgment of painful emotions, restructuring of distorted thought patterns, mindfulness). These techniques exploit the underlying cognitive-affective processes in ways that aren't yet fully understood. How might computational modeling help elucidate the underlying information processing mechanisms, to enable more targeted applications of these techniques?
- What are the relative benefits and drawbacks of the dominant theoretical perspectives on emotion with respect to computational models of emotion-cognition interaction and therapeutic action (e.g., discrete / categorical models, dimensional models (PAD), componential models)?
- What are the best representational and reasoning approaches for modeling cognitive-affective schemas and their transformation during therapy? Can we characterize the differences in these transformations across distinct therapeutic approaches (e.g., cognitive, metacognitive, emotion-focused, motivational interviewing, psychodynamic)?
- How can the understanding of emotion and psychotherapy be improved by adopting an architectural perspective on cognition and affect; that is, by modeling cognition and emotion within the context of a cognitive-affective architecture?
- What are the most appropriate computational methods for modeling the distinct modalities of affective processes (e.g., physiological / somatic, expressive / behavioral, cognitive)?
- How can we model intermodal interactions across processes operating at different time scales?
- What types of data are necessary to develop these models, and how can these be obtained?
- For a given affective process and modality, what criteria determine the best level of model resolution (e.g., models of lower-level processes via connectionist methods vs. higher-level symbolic models)?
- How can we validate computational models of cognition-emotion interactions and therapeutic action, and what are the limits of this validation (e.g., validation of detailed symbolic models hypothesizing specific internal mental constructs, such as goals or plans, may not be possible with current technologies).
Addressing these questions from a multi-disciplinary perspective will provide the context within which concrete gaps in both theoretical knowledge and methodologies can be identified, and research priorities established.
(Presentations can be downloaded by clicking on their titles below.)
Invited talk: "The cognitive bases of emotions, emotional disorders and
Keith Oatley, University of Toronto.
"Tentative applications of the Commitment Theory of Emotions to the diagnosis and therapeutic treatment of affective disorders"
Michel Aubé, Université de Sherbrooke. (The background story motivating some of this work can be downloaded here.)
"Three-tier Model of Emotions"
Jason Wilson, Tufts University.
"A design-based approach to sleep-onset and insomnia: Super-somnolent mentation, the cognitive shuffle and serial diverse imagining
Luc Beaudoin, Simon Fraser University & CogSci Apps Corp.
"From cognitive biases to panic: Modeling the mechanisms of anxiety disorders"
Eva Hudlicka, Psychometrix Associates & University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
Eva Hudlicka, Chair, Psychometrix Associates and University of Massachusetts-Amherst
Michael Arbib, University of Southern California
Jorge Armony, McGill University
Luc Beaudoin, Simon Fraser University
Jean-Marc Fellous, University of Arizona
Ian Horswill, Northwestern University
Richard Lane, University of Arizona
Rainer Reisenzein, University Greifswald
Matthias Scheutz, Tufts University