The Psychology Network
Research on ASD, Mental Health and AI
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Current Research Projects
The Psychology Network Pty Ltd is an Australian company providing psychological services across Australia. As a fast-growing company, the Psychology Network aims to be a leader in clinical psychology and in particular psychological assessment. This includes computational methods for the assessment of mental health. The Psychology Network specialises on adult autism and ADHD as well as the diagnosis and treatment of depression and anxiety.

Cognitive therapy for adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
There is an increasing recognition that autism spectrum disorder extends into adulthood. Individuals with ASD demonstrate deficits in social communication, a preference for strong routines and a narrow range of interests. As a result, adults with autistic traits frequently experience challenges in relationships, in the family environment and in a professional setting. However, cognitive theories of autism such as the “extreme male brain” theory (or empathizing–systemizing theory) point to strengths as well, in particular in areas that require logical reasoning (“systemizing”). Within the broad context of cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT), psychological interventions are investigated that aim at improving the communication of emotional content and enhance the recognition of social cues. An additional focus is the development of cognitive empathy, in particular in the context of relationships.

Psychotherapy as Heuristic Search
There is no coherent framework for psychological therapy available. From psychoanalysis to behaviour therapy, humanistic and third wave approaches, there are significant differences in terms of aetiology, methods and expected outcomes. Heuristic search, an important method in artificial intelligence (AI), can serve as a general frame of reference for psychotherapy. This approach is based on a clear definition of the starting and end points of psychological therapy and how to achieve identified outcomes; it allows the utilisation of particularly effective psychological interventions and a ranking of different forms of psychotherapy with regard to efficacy, time and effort. A cornerstone of this framework is the notion of "deep heuristic", that is, particularly effective psychological interventions based on clinical experience. It is likely that the heuristic search framework can be applied to interventions in psychiatry as well as health disciplines in general.

The Mental State Tracker: A Mobile phone based approach
The Mental State Tracker is a mobile application currently developed for Android, iPhones and Windows phones. This mobile app is based on artificial intelligence (AI) techniques and combines a number of features: (1) The recording and analysis of speech to detect a number of mental health conditions as well as speech and language disorders (SLD). (2) The transcription of speech and the analysis of the resulting texts by various methods to determine mental health issues. (3) The analysis of transcribed speech includes the determination of suicide risk. (4) Standard questionnaires that are commonly used in clinical psychology and psychiatry are also offered and the results are compared with speech and text analysis. (5) The movement of the mobile phone (and thereby the user) is analysed to determine lack of mobility and relative social isolation. (6) DSM-5 compatibility interviews are offered to obtain more information on possible mental health conditions. Finally, (7) an explanation component is used to explain to a user "why" a certain decision was made (e.g. determination of low mood) and "how" it was made.

The next video describes speech analysis for anger in MatLab (for development purposes). A German language voice is used in this video.

Defence Science Institute: A/Prof Margaret Lech (RMIT), Prof Joachim Diederich (Psychology Network Pty Ltd), A/Prof Lawrence Cavedon (RMIT).

Kriton Speech
Kriton Speech is a speech-only knowledge acquisition system. Voice user interfaces (VUI) allow a user to perform other tasks while s/he is interviewed by the knowledge acquisition system. Kriton Speech takes the VUI concept to the extreme: there are start and stop buttons, everything else is done by speech.
The knowledge acquisition tool Kriton Speech is designed for users unfamiliar with artificial intelligence (AI) techniques as well as well-trained knowledge engineers. Kriton Speech is a general purpose knowledge acquisition tool incorporating several interview techniques.
Psychology Network Pty Ltd.: Prof Joachim Diederich (Psychology Network Pty Ltd), A/Prof Margaret Lech (RMIT), Dr Alan Tickle, Abdel Yussef (RMIT).

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