example of behavioral statistical model: Diagnosis of depression
through the analysis of laughter
During 2011 and
2012 I participated in collaboration with P. Marijuan, R. del Moral and
J. Navarro from 'Grupo de Investigación de Bioinformación
y Biología de Sistemas' Instituto Aragonés de Ciencias de
la Salud (IACS), Zaragoza (Spain), performing the statistical model in
the following project [11c and 12c]. Laughter may be applied as a
diagnostic tool in the onset and evolution of depression and,
potentially, of neuropsychiatric pathologies. We registered laughs of
depressed patients (n=30) and healthy controls (n=20), in total 934
laughs (517 from patients and 417 from controls). All patients were
tested by the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS). The processing
was made in Matlab, with calculation of 8 variables per laugh plosive.
General and discriminant statistical analysis distinguished patients,
controls, gender, and the association between laughter and HDRS test.
Depressed patients and healthy controls differed significantly on the
type of laughter, with 88% efficacy. According to the Hamilton scale,
85.47% of the samples were correctly classified in males, and 66.17% in
women, suggesting a tight relationship between laughter and the
Right Figure .-
In 2013 we
conducted an university spin-
This project had an impact in the media in Spain being published some news in local newspapers [see news, in Spanish].