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Special Issue "New Trends in Psychophysiology and Mental Health"

A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2018

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Pietro Cipresso

1 Department of Psychology, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan, Italy
2 Applied Technology for Neuro-Psychology Lab, IRCCS Istituto Auxologico Italiano, Milan, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: psychometrics, biostatistics, complex systems and computational modeling; psychophysiology methods, biosensors and biomedical signal processing; virtual reality methods and computational science
Guest Editor
Dr. Justin T. Baker

McLean Institute for Technology in Psychiatry and Harvard Medical School, MA, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, Technology in Psychiatry, Translational Research
Guest Editor
Dr. Yuri Ostrovsky

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MA, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Cognitive Neuroscience, Neuroimaging, Neuroscience, MATLAB
Guest Editor
Dr. Silvia Serino

Catholic University of Milan, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Virtual Reality, Positive Technology, Neurorehabilitation, Spatial Memory

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Advances in pervasive sensing and computing are transforming the landscape of opportunities for mental health researchers and practitioners to provide scaleable, reliable assessment, monitoring, and treatment to individuals across a diverse spectrum of neuropsychiatric conditions and severity levels, from severe mental illness to optimizing wellness and productivity. To explore these issues in a cross-displinary forum of technologists, psychiatrists and psychologists, the 7th International Symposium on Pervasive Computing Paradigms for Mental Health (mindcaresymposium.org) was held at MIT’s Sanberg Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in January 2018.

The symposium explored how embedded sensors distributed through smart phones, wearables, cameras, and personal computing devices, which increasingly include immersive computing environments (e.g., AR, VR), cars, and homes (e.g. Alexa), are enabling naturalistic mental health support, treatment, as well as extension of the theoretical knowledge through objective, continous data collection of human behavior in naturalistic settings, such as in the home or while receiving treatment.  

In this regard, we are soliciting high-quality papers in the following topics (but not limited to):
 
Sensing and data processing
  • Wearable computing
  • Smart environments
  • Biomedical devices
  • Speech Analysis
  • Big data for individual / public health
  • Computational Psychometrics
  • Combined sensing systems and infrastructures
  • Computer-enhanced self reporting
  • Machine learning and data mining methods

User experience
  • Novel interfaces
  • Usability studies
  • Visualizations
  • Augmented reality
  • Virtual reality approaches

Applications
  • Mental wellbeing support
  • Stress / Emotional response analysis
  • Affective computing
  • Serious games for mental health
  • Cognitive stimulation
  • Life-logging methods
  • Monitoring activities relevant to mental health
  • Psychological treatments of mental disorders
  • Systems to support patients and / or caregivers
  • Using technology to improve the understanding of cognitive processes
  • Tools for Neuropsychological Assessment and Rehabilitation
  • Mental health promotion and disorders prevention

 

Dr. Pietro Cipresso
Dr. Justin T. Baker
Dr. Yuri Ostrovsky
Dr. Silvia Serino
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sensors is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Portable System for Real-Time Detection of Stress Level
Sensors 2018, 18(8), 2504; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18082504
Received: 30 June 2018 / Revised: 25 July 2018 / Accepted: 28 July 2018 / Published: 1 August 2018
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Abstract
Currently, mental stress is a major problem in our society. It is related to a wide variety of diseases and is mainly caused by daily-life factors. The use of mobile technology for healthcare purposes has dramatically increased during the last few years. In
[...] Read more.
Currently, mental stress is a major problem in our society. It is related to a wide variety of diseases and is mainly caused by daily-life factors. The use of mobile technology for healthcare purposes has dramatically increased during the last few years. In particular, for out-of-lab stress detection, a considerable number of biosignal-based methods and systems have been proposed. However, these approaches have not matured yet into applications that are reliable and useful enough to significantly improve people’s quality of life. Further research is needed. In this paper, we propose a portable system for real-time detection of stress based on multiple biosignals such as electroencephalography, electrocardiography, electromyography, and galvanic skin response. In order to validate our system, we conducted a study using a previously published and well-established methodology. In our study, ten subjects were stressed and then relaxed while their biosignals were simultaneously recorded with the portable system. The results show that our system can classify three levels of stress (stress, relax, and neutral) with a resolution of a few seconds and 86% accuracy. This suggests that the proposed system could have a relevant impact on people’s lives. It can be used to prevent stress episodes in many situations of everyday life such as work, school, and home. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Trends in Psychophysiology and Mental Health)
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Open AccessArticle Toward an Embodied Medicine: A Portable Device with Programmable Interoceptive Stimulation for Heart Rate Variability Enhancement
Sensors 2018, 18(8), 2469; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18082469
Received: 29 May 2018 / Revised: 22 July 2018 / Accepted: 25 July 2018 / Published: 30 July 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (799 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper, we describe and test a new portable device that is able to deliver tactile interoceptive stimulation. The device works by delivering precise interoceptive parasympathetic stimuli to C-tactile afferents connected to the lamina I spinothalamocortical system. In humans, interoceptive stimulation can
[...] Read more.
In this paper, we describe and test a new portable device that is able to deliver tactile interoceptive stimulation. The device works by delivering precise interoceptive parasympathetic stimuli to C-tactile afferents connected to the lamina I spinothalamocortical system. In humans, interoceptive stimulation can be used to enhance heart rate variability (HRV). To test the effectiveness of the device in enhancing HRV, 13 subjects were randomly assigned in a single-blind between-subjects design either to the experimental condition or to the control condition. In the experimental condition, subjects received stimulation with the developed device; in the control condition subjects received stimulation with static non-interoceptive pressure. Subjects’ electrocardiograms (ECG) were recorded, with sampling at 1000 Hz for 5 min as a baseline, and then during the stimulations (11 min). Time domain analyses were performed to estimate the short-term vagally mediated component (rMSSD) of HRV. Results indicated that the experimental group showed enhanced rMSSD, compared to the control group. Moreover, frequency domain analyses indicated that high frequency band power, which reflects parasympathetic activity in humans, also appeared to be enhanced in the experimental group compared to control subjects. Conclusions and future challenges for an embodied perspective of rehabilitative medicine are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Trends in Psychophysiology and Mental Health)
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Open AccessArticle Characteristics, Usability, and Users Experience of a System Combining Cognitive and Physical Therapy in a Virtual Environment: Positive Bike
Sensors 2018, 18(7), 2343; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18072343
Received: 18 June 2018 / Revised: 16 July 2018 / Accepted: 17 July 2018 / Published: 19 July 2018
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Abstract
We present the architecture and usability evaluation of virtual reality system—“Positive Bike”—designed for improving cognitive and motor conditions in frail elderly patients. The system consists of a cycle-ergometer integrated in an immersive virtual reality system (CAVE) which allows combining motor and cognitive exercises
[...] Read more.
We present the architecture and usability evaluation of virtual reality system—“Positive Bike”—designed for improving cognitive and motor conditions in frail elderly patients. The system consists of a cycle-ergometer integrated in an immersive virtual reality system (CAVE) which allows combining motor and cognitive exercises according to a “dual-task” paradigm. We tested the usability and user’s experience of the prototype in a pilot evaluation study that involved five elderly patients. The prototype was tested in one-session training to understand the limitations and areas for improvement of our system. The evaluation consisted in (i) usability assessment using the system usability scale; (ii) evaluation of user’s engagement using the flow state scale; and (iii) expert evaluation involving interviews with domain experts. Results showed a good usability, both for system usability scale and the semi-structured interview. The level of flow (i.e., enjoyment with the task at hand) measured using the short flow state scale, was also high. Analysis of semi-structured interview carried out with domain experts provided further indications to improve the system. Overall, these findings show that, despite some limitations, the system is usable and provides an enjoyable user’s experience. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Trends in Psychophysiology and Mental Health)
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Open AccessArticle Disentangling the Contribution of Spatial Reference Frames to Executive Functioning in Healthy and Pathological Aging: An Experimental Study with Virtual Reality
Sensors 2018, 18(6), 1783; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18061783
Received: 9 April 2018 / Revised: 26 May 2018 / Accepted: 28 May 2018 / Published: 1 June 2018
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Abstract
A growing body of evidence pointed out that a decline in effectively using spatial reference frames for categorizing information occurs both in normal and pathological aging. Moreover, it is also known that executive deficits primarily characterize the cognitive profile of older individuals. Acknowledging
[...] Read more.
A growing body of evidence pointed out that a decline in effectively using spatial reference frames for categorizing information occurs both in normal and pathological aging. Moreover, it is also known that executive deficits primarily characterize the cognitive profile of older individuals. Acknowledging this literature, the current study was aimed to specifically disentangle the contribution of the cognitive abilities related to the use of spatial reference frames to executive functioning in both healthy and pathological aging. 48 healthy elderly individuals and 52 elderly suffering from probable Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) took part in the study. We exploited the potentiality of Virtual Reality to specifically measure the abilities in retrieving and syncing between different spatial reference frames, and then we administrated different neuropsychological tests for evaluating executive functions. Our results indicated that allocentric functions contributed significantly to the planning abilities, while syncing abilities influenced the attentional ones. The findings were discussed in terms of previous literature exploring relationships between cognitive deficits in the first phase of AD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Trends in Psychophysiology and Mental Health)
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Review

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Open AccessReview A Review of Emotion Recognition Using Physiological Signals
Sensors 2018, 18(7), 2074; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18072074
Received: 10 April 2018 / Revised: 26 May 2018 / Accepted: 12 June 2018 / Published: 28 June 2018
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Abstract
Emotion recognition based on physiological signals has been a hot topic and applied in many areas such as safe driving, health care and social security. In this paper, we present a comprehensive review on physiological signal-based emotion recognition, including emotion models, emotion elicitation
[...] Read more.
Emotion recognition based on physiological signals has been a hot topic and applied in many areas such as safe driving, health care and social security. In this paper, we present a comprehensive review on physiological signal-based emotion recognition, including emotion models, emotion elicitation methods, the published emotional physiological datasets, features, classifiers, and the whole framework for emotion recognition based on the physiological signals. A summary and comparation among the recent studies has been conducted, which reveals the current existing problems and the future work has been discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Trends in Psychophysiology and Mental Health)
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