Psychosystems Satellite Symposium at Conference on Complex Systems (CCS2016)


The Psychosystems group is hosting a satellite symposium at the Conference on Complex Systems (CCS2016) on 21 September, at the Beurs van Berlage in Amsterdam.

Title: Complexity in personalised dynamical networks for mental health

Summary: Psychopathology is recognized as a phenomenon that is important but equally difficult to understand. For instance, depression is often considered as some unknown (physical) system causing symptoms like loss of interest and insomnia. It is however difficult to determine what exactly the system is or how it influences the symptoms we can observe. Recently, a change in view has been proposed to consider symptoms and their interactions as the building blocks of a complex system in an effort to better understand the intricacies of mental health and pathologies. Such systems are inherently complex in the sense that the interactions between a plethora of processes and symptoms can result in bistable behaviour, which may explain, for instance, sudden transitions from healthy to depressed moods. The dynamical processes on such networks are now the main focus of investigation that may lead to better understanding and possibly prevention of pathologies. One of the most promising ways to investigate such complex systems is by monitoring single subjects for some period of time. This is often done by what is called experience sampling, where information through smart phones is obtained several times a day, usually at random intervals. The models and methods for the analyses of such time series are far from trivial. Borrowing from statistical physics, the Ising model, for instance, has proven useful in determining key differences between depressed and remittent patients.