Psychological Status Monitoring by Computerised Analysis of Language phenomena (COALA).

The present project aims at the analysis of language phenomena at multiple levels. Speech samples will be collected primarily in the form of semi- structured video diaries. The collected speech samples will be analysed into measures of phonetics (articulation and prosody) as well as psychologically relevant indirect linguistic markers of verbal content. The analyses will be performed with advanced methods of language technology. As much as current technology permits, automated analyses will be used allowing the highest degree of objectivity. By keeping manual contribution on the minimum, this proposal aims at providing a basis for the development of future fully automated systems that will allow using naturally occurring language manifestations by alleviating the burdens of confidentiality.

In the field of Psychology this project targets the identification of changes in cognition and mood at the level of individuals as well as the group dynamics and leadership issues in ICE (isolated and confined) environments. The project specifically targets the questions of gender differences and the influence of gender composition on the psychodynamics of groups and individuals. Special attention will be paid to manifestations of positive psychology (emotions, cognitions, social relations etc) as the antagonists of detrimental effects of environmental challenge.

The phonetic properties of speech are also relevant in the field of Medicine to some of the problems of physiological adaptation pertinent in isolation and particularly at Concordia; namely cerebral hypoxia and mild depression (SAD).

This study is implemented by the European Space Agency at the Concordia station during the 2013 and 2014 overwinterings. The principal investigator is Professor Anna Esposito, from the Dept of Psychology of the Second University of Naples, and the scientific team comprises collaborators from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (Prof Laszlo Balazs et Dr Bea Ehmann); the Laboratory of Speech Acoustics from the Budapest University of Technology (Dr Klara Vicsi); from the University of British Columbia (Prof Peter Suedfeld) and the Russian Institute for Biomedical Problems (Dr Vadim Gushin).