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Big data for better science: technologies for measuring behaviour

Scientific meeting

Location

The Royal Society, London, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AG

Overview

Science+ meeting organised by Professor Sophie von Stumm

Abstract data. Credit: gremlin

This meeting will give behavioural scientists the chance to learn about the latest research technologies for collecting 'big' high-quality data. Data scientists and technology experts will explain the latest developments, challenges and benefits of research technology in a series of cutting-edge talks. Attendees will also have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with various research technology tools during interactive showcase sessions.

The schedule of talks is available below. Recorded audio of the presentations will be available on this page after the meeting has taken place.

This meeting is kindly supported by the Jacobs Foundation.

Attending this event

  • Free to attend
  • Advance registration essential

Enquiries: contact the Scientific Programmes team

Event organisers

Select an organiser for more information

Schedule of talks

04 February

09:00-12:00

Session 1

3 talks Show detail Hide detail

09:00-09:45 Mobile health intervention and engagement optimisation

Professor Susan A Murphy, Harvard University, USA

Abstract

Mobile devices along with wearable sensors facilitate our ability to deliver supportive behavioral treatments to users anytime and anywhere. These treatments can include a wide variety of content such as cognitive, behavioral, social and motivational support. These interventions are being developed and employed across a variety of health fields, including to improve medication adherence and to encourage physical activity and healthier eating as well as to support recovery in addictions. Critical questions in the optimization of mobile health interventions include: "Does the user benefit from a particular type of mobile health notification or text message?" and "Does the user's current context such as location, time, mood impact the usefulness of the mobile health notification?". In this talk we discuss the micro-randomized trial design and associated data analyses for use in optimizing mobile health interventions. We illustrate the ideas with the micro-randomized trials across a variety of fields.

Show speakers

09:45-10:00 Discussion

10:00-10:45 Life outside the lab: novel technologies and big data in the wild

Dr Julia Hoffman, US Department of Veterans Affairs, USA

Abstract

The emergence and ubiquity of personal technologies to assess and resolve behavioral dysfunction is vital in the context of worldwide behavioral health epidemics, shortages of adequate care, and individual barriers to care-seeking that are aligned with the affordances of modern technologies. Industry and academia are pushing forward to establish science and develop solutions in parallel, but practices and standards of each setting limit the generalizability of innovations.

We will discuss the ethical, strategic, and tactical considerations for development, application, and deployment of big data approaches in real-world settings. Quantitative and qualitative data related to experimentation and implementation will be shared.

Show speakers

10:45-11:00 Discussion

11:00-12:00 Showcase session

Abstract

Confirmed exhibitors include:

ANT Neuro: ANT Neuro specializes in being a single-source provider of high performance products within neuroscience research and neurodiagnostics. Applications include EEG, EMG, MRI, TMS and MEG technology. Using ANT Neuro products, functional brain information is fused with anatomical scans to gain insight into the working mechanisms of cognition and a variety of brain disorders. Our technology offers a wide range of applications in cognitive neuroscience, neurology and psychiatry. We are committed to serving our customers the best-possible solutions available through our dedication to advancing the capabilities of neurotechnology, through steadfast relationships with our user community, and through helping further the collective understanding of the human brain, with the ultimate hope of improving human life. Leading in know-how and technology, we offer solutions and high quality, state-of-the-art products and reliable services for expert customers worldwide. We team-up with them to explore new ways, new dimensions and to tackle challenges. We think out-of-the-box and act always one step ahead. We are ANT Neuro: We inspire!

Ethos App

Gorilla Experiment Builder: We help ambitious behavioural scientists create and host online experiments easily. Gorilla has a clear and intuitive graphical interface to allow you to build an experiment without coding. Accurate reaction times makes in appropriate to use for a wide range of behavioural research. The powerful modular structure means it can do randomisation, counterbalancing, branching as well as longitudinal studies with ease.  It’s free to sign up and use all the tools, and you only pay when you want to collect.

iMotions: iMotions is a software company that provides customers with a multi-modal solution for executing neuroscience research. iMotions provides a single platform that integrates a variety of best-in-class neuroscience sensors (eye-tracking, GSR, facial expression analysis, EEG etc) and also provides data processing and analysis capabilities. Our company also offers extensive, hands-on training and support for customers, which can range from technical troubleshooting to in-depth, multi-day or ongoing theoretical and practical research training.

LENA: The Language Environment Analysis (LENA) system comprises small digital audio recorders and accompanying software which automatically analyses and segments audio data to provide estimates of various language measures, including adult and child word counts. By automating the language analysis, LENA technology provides the opportunity to conduct large-scale naturalistic observational research studies.

OpenSesame

PyGaze

SR Research: SR Research manufactures the EyeLink range of eye trackers – devices that have been the driving force behind the most innovative eye-tracking research of the last two decades. Renowned for their exceptional levels of accuracy and precision, combined with high sampling speeds, our eye trackers are used in top laboratories worldwide. We are dedicated to supporting and responding to the needs of the eye-tracking research community and our expert staff work closely with researchers to enable scientific exploration in a variety of domains. Our unparalleled commitment to customer service is driven by our passion to play our part in facilitating the important work pursued by our users.

Tracksys: We supply behavioural research solutions within the UK and Ireland. We aim to work closely with our users to meet their research aims. We design and install labs, and offer key products, including: Noldus Observer XT for behavioural scoring and integration; automatic analysis of facial expressions using Noldus FaceReader; wearable and screen based Tobii eye trackers; psychophysiology solutions from MindWare Technologies; brain activity measures using Artinis fNIRS; and SIMI motion analysis tools.

12:00-13:00

Lunch

13:00-17:00

Session 2

4 talks Show detail Hide detail

13:00-13:45 Using big data to understand and improve online support groups

Professor Robert Kraut, Carnegie Mellon University, USA

Abstract

Many people with serious diseases use online groups to obtain informational and emotional support and to understand what to expect as they live with their disease. The benefits from online support groups are likely to accrue primarily to people who participate in them and communicate with others. But in a wide variety of online groups, a substantial number of participants drop out before they could plausibly receive any benefits themselves or provide benefits to others. Because people join these groups to get support, the amount and type of support they receive is likely to determine whether they find the groups valuable and continue to participate in them.

This talk will describe machine learning techniques to automatically identify the nature of communication exchanged in online support groups. Are members asking for informational or emotional support, self-disclosing their fears or events from their cancer journeys, providing support, welcoming newcomers or something else? The automated analysis is used to understand how the language in these sites influences how long people stay, the support they receive and their satisfaction with it. It also forms the basis of interventions to better match support providers with support recipients.

Show speakers

13:45-14:00 Discussion

14:00-14:45 Decision support for personalizing interventions for medication non-adherence using patient data

Dr Ching-Hua Chen, IBM Research, USA

Abstract

Medication adherence remains a challenging problem in health care, with roughly half of patients taking their medications as prescribed. While much has been understood about the many factors that have been observed to drive adherence behavior in general, it remains challenging for practitioners to effectively pinpoint the most likely drivers of non-adherence for any given patient. Pharmacy claims, or refill, data can be used estimate medication adherence behavior using a measure called "proportion of days covered" (PDC). Using this measure, we implement an approach that allows us to identify possible drivers of a patient's medication adherence behavior, that is unique to their context. Here, context refers to recent changes in the patient's health experience, as may be inferred from temporal events detectable from their medical claims data.

Show speakers

14:45-15:00 Discussion

15:00-15:30 Coffee

15:30-16:30 Showcase session

Abstract

Confirmed exhibitors include:

ANT Neuro: ANT Neuro specializes in being a single-source provider of high performance products within neuroscience research and neurodiagnostics. Applications include EEG, EMG, MRI, TMS and MEG technology. Using ANT Neuro products, functional brain information is fused with anatomical scans to gain insight into the working mechanisms of cognition and a variety of brain disorders. Our technology offers a wide range of applications in cognitive neuroscience, neurology and psychiatry. We are committed to serving our customers the best-possible solutions available through our dedication to advancing the capabilities of neurotechnology, through steadfast relationships with our user community, and through helping further the collective understanding of the human brain, with the ultimate hope of improving human life. Leading in know-how and technology, we offer solutions and high quality, state-of-the-art products and reliable services for expert customers worldwide. We team-up with them to explore new ways, new dimensions and to tackle challenges. We think out-of-the-box and act always one step ahead. We are ANT Neuro: We inspire!

Ethos App

Gorilla Experiment Builder: We help ambitious behavioural scientists create and host online experiments easily. Gorilla has a clear and intuitive graphical interface to allow you to build an experiment without coding. Accurate reaction times makes in appropriate to use for a wide range of behavioural research. The powerful modular structure means it can do randomisation, counterbalancing, branching as well as longitudinal studies with ease.  It’s free to sign up and use all the tools, and you only pay when you want to collect.

iMotions: iMotions is a software company that provides customers with a multi-modal solution for executing neuroscience research. iMotions provides a single platform that integrates a variety of best-in-class neuroscience sensors (eye-tracking, GSR, facial expression analysis, EEG etc) and also provides data processing and analysis capabilities. Our company also offers extensive, hands-on training and support for customers, which can range from technical troubleshooting to in-depth, multi-day or ongoing theoretical and practical research training.

LENA: The Language Environment Analysis (LENA) system comprises small digital audio recorders and accompanying software which automatically analyses and segments audio data to provide estimates of various language measures, including adult and child word counts. By automating the language analysis, LENA technology provides the opportunity to conduct large-scale naturalistic observational research studies.

OpenSesame

PyGaze

SR Research: SR Research manufactures the EyeLink range of eye trackers – devices that have been the driving force behind the most innovative eye-tracking research of the last two decades. Renowned for their exceptional levels of accuracy and precision, combined with high sampling speeds, our eye trackers are used in top laboratories worldwide. We are dedicated to supporting and responding to the needs of the eye-tracking research community and our expert staff work closely with researchers to enable scientific exploration in a variety of domains. Our unparalleled commitment to customer service is driven by our passion to play our part in facilitating the important work pursued by our users.

Tracksys: We supply behavioural research solutions within the UK and Ireland. We aim to work closely with our users to meet the research aims. We design and install labs, and offer key products, including: Noldus Observer XT for behavioural scoring and integration; automatic analysis of facial expressions using Noldus FaceReader; wearable and screen based Tobii eye trackers; psychophysiology solutions from MindWare Technologies; brain activity measures using Artinis fNIRS; and SIMI motion analysis tools.

16:30-17:00 Panel discussion

05 February

09:00-12:00

Session 3

3 talks Show detail Hide detail

09:00-09:45 Immersive Virtual Reality (VR) to transform the lives of patients with mental health disorders

Professor Daniel Freeman, University of Oxford, UK

Abstract

Mental health disorders are very common, often with great personal and societal costs, but far too few people receive the best treatments. The case will be made that much greater access to the best psychological treatments can be achieved using automated delivery in virtual reality (VR). With virtual reality simulations, individuals can repeatedly experience their problematic situations and be taught, via evidence-based psychological treatments delivered by a virtual coach, how to overcome difficulties. A key advantage of VR is that individuals know that a computer environment is not real but their minds and bodies behave as if it is real; hence, people will much more easily face difficult situations in VR than in real life and be able to try out new therapeutic strategies. VR treatments can also be made much more engaging and appealing for patients than traditional therapies. A systematic programme of work developing and testing automated VR psychological treatments for conditions such as fear of heights, social anxiety, and schizophrenia will be described.

Show speakers

09:45-10:00 Discussion

10:00-10:45 Small data for better health: technologies for personalizing assessments and interventions

Professor Deborah Estrin, Cornell Tech, USA

Show speakers

10:45-11:00 Discussion

11:00-12:00 Showcase session

Abstract

Confirmed exhibitors include:

BIOPAC: BIOPAC provides high-quality scientific tools for physiology measurement and interpretation with world-class customer service and support. BIOPAC systems facilitate discovery in ambulatory, MRI, lab, real-world, and virtual environments, enabling recording and analysis of a wide range of signals, and are easily integrated with a variety of equipment such as eye trackers, VR, video monitoring and stimulus presentation. With over 20,000 citations in scholarly and scientific publications, BIOPAC systems are found in premier laboratories, research facilities, and corporations world-wide.

Cambridge Cognition: CANTAB Connect Research is the world’s most validated, precise and reliable research software providing sensitive digital measures of cognitive function for all areas of brain research. Delivering leading neuroscience through our secure cloud platform, CANTAB Connect Research is an efficient and easy-to-use system providing insights into behaviours, underlying brain circuits and neurochemical systems and measurement of digital cognitive biomarkers.

Coelition: Coelition is an independent non-profit that supports research and innovation with behavioural data. Our open standard contains a detailed and extensive taxonomy of human behaviour allowing any human to be coded with full semantic harmonisation and data portability. We provide technical infrastructure and governance frameworks for organisations, helping them to deliver programmes and services that handle data responsibly.

FF Foundation (Open Doors Ltd): Maurice Flynn FRSA Director of Data Science will present Today's Narrow AI for Big Data Analysis - our toolset that brings the power of narrow AI data analysis to everyone. 

MagVenture: MagVenture's mission is to be the most dynamic and innovative supplier of transcranial magnetic stimulation solutions.Within research, MagVenture is widely known and recognised for our MagPro product line, one of the most powerful, advanced and durable TMS solutions on the market – tailored to not only suit the current needs of researchers, but also let them push the field of neuroscience and thus shape the future path of TMS.

PSYT

PsychoPy: PsychoPy is an open-source application allowing easy, precise, extremely flexible experiments in the behavioural sciences. It supports a wide range of stimuli that can be changed on every screen refresh and can be run either in a lab-based setting or online. Also presenting... Pavlovia.org - a new site to allow sharing, exploring, and launching studies created in PsychoPy, jsPsych or lab.js.

Rogue Resolutions: Rogue Resolutions believes in the importance of developing and maintaining strong links between industry and academia within the field of neuroscience and brain research. We particularly specialise in non-invasive brain stimulation and brain imaging, supporting a broad range of solutions that are ideally suited to meet the complex requirements of research applications.

Testable: Testable is a one-stop platform for behavioural experiments, surveys, and data collection, trusted by 3000+ researchers from 80+ leading universities. We offer the only software allowing the creation of psychology experiments without coding or use of a complicated graphical interface. Hands down, the fastest way from experimental idea to implementation, with even complex designs such as staircases and multiplayer environments often requiring less than five minutes to set up. Our solution is powerful and flexible, covering a wide range of experimental designs, fully customisable. Testable experiments and surveys run in any browser, online and offline. Our subject pool, Testable Minds, offers high-quality data through a state-of-the-art verification system, guaranteeing that our participants are human, unique, reliable, and with verified age, sex, and location. All Testable products and features are overseen by a reputable team of academic advisors. Most scientists agree: it should be Testable!

12:00-13:00

Lunch

13:00-17:00

Session 4

4 talks Show detail Hide detail

13:00-13:45 Bigger data about smaller people: studying children’s language learning at scale

Dr Michael C Frank, Stanford University, USA

Abstract

How do children acquire a language? Decades of work have provided a roadmap of principles and mechanisms for early language learning as attested by small-scale laboratory tasks. But there is not yet a convincing empirical synthesis of this work that addresses both the systematicity and ubiquity of language learning and the variability of learning trajectories across children. This talk describes some initial steps towards such a synthesis, integrating high-density data from individual children learning a single language and summary data from tens of thousands of children learning more than a dozen languages. Taken together, the data support a hybrid picture in which children slowly accumulate knowledge in rich social contexts but also show evidence for surprisingly fast grammatical abstractions. 

Show speakers

13:45-14:00 Discussion

14:00-14:45 Mobile and wearable devices data for health and well being diagnostics: challenges and opportunities

Professor Cecilia Mascolo, University of Cambridge, UK

Abstract

Commodity devices people carry with them during their day are equipped with a range of sensors able to detect very fine-grained behaviour features. The talk will illustrate a number of examples of applications where devices have been used in the context of health and behaviour tracking, which include mental health studies and emotion recognition, Alzheimer’s diagnostics, medical adherence and smoke cessation. A number of sensor techniques will be presented and the talk will discuss their accuracy and limitations. The presentation will continue by discussing the challenges which the application of these technologies bring with them when applied to mobile health and diagnostics, including device efficiency and privacy.

Show speakers

14:45-15:00 Discussion

15:00-15:30 Coffee

15:30-16:30 Showcase session

Abstract

Confirmed exhibitors include:

BIOPAC: BIOPAC provides high-quality scientific tools for physiology measurement and interpretation with world-class customer service and support. BIOPAC systems facilitate discovery in ambulatory, MRI, lab, real-world, and virtual environments, enabling recording and analysis of a wide range of signals, and are easily integrated with a variety of equipment such as eye trackers, VR, video monitoring and stimulus presentation. With over 20,000 citations in scholarly and scientific publications, BIOPAC systems are found in premier laboratories, research facilities, and corporations world-wide.

Cambridge Cognition: CANTAB Connect Research is the world’s most validated, precise and reliable research software providing sensitive digital measures of cognitive function for all areas of brain research. Delivering leading neuroscience through our secure cloud platform, CANTAB Connect Research is an efficient and easy-to-use system providing insights into behaviours, underlying brain circuits and neurochemical systems and measurement of digital cognitive biomarkers.

Coelition: Coelition is an independent non-profit that supports research and innovation with behavioural data. Our open standard contains a detailed and extensive taxonomy of human behaviour allowing any human to be coded with full semantic harmonisation and data portability. We provide technical infrastructure and governance frameworks for organisations, helping them to deliver programmes and services that handle data responsibly.

FF Foundation (Open Doors Ltd): Maurice Flynn FRSA Director of Data Science will present Today's Narrow AI for Big Data Analysis - our toolset that brings the power of narrow AI data analysis to everyone. 

MagVenture: MagVenture's mission is to be the most dynamic and innovative supplier of transcranial magnetic stimulation solutions.Within research, MagVenture is widely known and recognised for our MagPro product line, one of the most powerful, advanced and durable TMS solutions on the market – tailored to not only suit the current needs of researchers, but also let them push the field of neuroscience and thus shape the future path of TMS.

PSYT

PsychoPy: PsychoPy is an open-source application allowing easy, precise, extremely flexible experiments in the behavioural sciences. It supports a wide range of stimuli that can be changed on every screen refresh and can be run either in a lab-based setting or online. Also presenting... Pavlovia.org - a new site to allow sharing, exploring, and launching studies created in PsychoPy, jsPsych or lab.js.

Rogue Resolutions: Rogue Resolutions believes in the importance of developing and maintaining strong links between industry and academia within the field of neuroscience and brain research. We particularly specialise in non-invasive brain stimulation and brain imaging, supporting a broad range of solutions that are ideally suited to meet the complex requirements of research applications.

Testable: Testable is a one-stop platform for behavioural experiments, surveys, and data collection, trusted by 3000+ researchers from 80+ leading universities. We offer the only software allowing the creation of psychology experiments without coding or use of a complicated graphical interface. Hands down, the fastest way from experimental idea to implementation, with even complex designs such as staircases and multiplayer environments often requiring less than five minutes to set up. Our solution is powerful and flexible, covering a wide range of experimental designs, fully customisable. Testable experiments and surveys run in any browser, online and offline. Our subject pool, Testable Minds, offers high-quality data through a state-of-the-art verification system, guaranteeing that our participants are human, unique, reliable, and with verified age, sex, and location. All Testable products and features are overseen by a reputable team of academic advisors. Most scientists agree: it should be Testable!

16:30-17:00 Panel discussion

Big data for better science: technologies for measuring behaviour

4 - 5 February 2019

The Royal Society, London 6-9 Carlton House Terrace London SW1Y 5AG UK
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