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The emotion ontology: enabling interdisciplinary research in the affective sciences


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Presented at the 2011 ICBO, we motivate and introduce the Emotion Ontology currently under development in the Swiss Centre for Affective Sciences in collaboration with the University at Buffalo.

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The emotion ontology: enabling interdisciplinary research in the affective sciences

  1. 1. ICBO, Buffalo, July 2011Dispositions and Processes in the Emotion Ontology Janna Hastings 1,2 Werner Ceusters 3 Barry Smith 4 Kevin Mulligan 2 1 European Bioinformatics Institute, UK 2 Swiss Centre for Affective Sciences, University of Geneva, Switzerland 3 Department of Psychiatry and Ontology Research Group, University at Buffalo, NY, USA4 Department of Philosophy and National Center for Ontological Research, University at Buffalo, NY, USA
  2. 2. e·mo·tionan intense mental state a strong feelinga (physical) moving, stirring, agitation an affective stateFriday, July 29, 2011 2
  3. 3. Affective scienceThe interdisciplinary study of: emotional functioning, regulation, expression, and physiological markers affective disorders such as bipolar, depression and schizoaffective disorderFriday, July 29, 2011 The Emotion Ontology (ICBO 2011) 3
  4. 4. Ontologies facilitate analysis of research results across disciplines Complex statistical analyses depend on principled aggregation of disparate dataFriday, July 29, 2011 4
  5. 5. Clinical observations Physiological monitoring Questionnaires Self-reports NeuroimagingFriday, July 29, 2011 5
  6. 6. The Emotion Ontology is a community-wide, shared disambiguated reference ontology for the domain of affective scienceFriday, July 29, 2011 The Emotion Ontology (ICBO 2011) 6
  7. 7. Communicating about emotions Affect, feeling, emotion, mood, passion, sentimentAnger, astonishment, awe, bliss, despair, disgust,embarrassment, fear, happiness, hate, joy, love, pride, regret, resentment, satisfaction, scorn, shame, sympathy, terrorFriday, July 29, 2011 Image credit: notarivs (flickr) 7
  8. 8. Ambiguity in emotion language John is angry (right now) John is angry with Mary John is an angry personFriday, July 29, 2011 The Emotion Ontology (ICBO 2011) 8
  9. 9. Emotion occurrentAn emotion occurrent is a processual emotion inwhich a person participates over a specific timeperiodA person undergoes or is the subject of theemotion; he emotesThis terminology leaves open what the personfeels or is aware ofFriday, July 29, 2011 The Emotion Ontology (ICBO 2011) 9
  10. 10. Emotion disposition An emotion disposition is a disposition to undergo emotion occurrents if the right circumstances obtainFriday, July 29, 2011 10
  11. 11. Emotional personality traitAn emotional personality trait is a stableenduring characteristic of a personwhich involves a predisposition (i.e. adisposition which gives rise to an increased risk)to undergo emotions of a particular sort, bothoccurrents and dispositions.Friday, July 29, 2011 The Emotion Ontology (ICBO 2011) 11
  12. 12. Basic Formal Ontology and Mental Function Ontology BFO:Entity BFO BFO:Continuant BFO:Occurrent MFO BFO:Independent BFO:Dependent BFO:Process Continuant Continuant Bodily Process Organism BFO:Disposition Cognitive Representation BFO:Quality Mental Functioning Mental Process Related Anatomical Structure Behaviour inducing state Affective RepresentationFriday, July 29, 2011 The Emotion Ontology (ICBO 2011) 12
  13. 13. Emotions are componential processes caused by appraisalsemotion =defAn episode of interrelated, synchronized changesin the states of all or most of the five organismicsubsystemsin response to the evaluation of an external orinternal stimulus event as relevant to majorconcerns of the organismFriday, July 29, 2011 image credit: Sabrina Campagna 13
  14. 14. Appraisal (CNS) Mary’s I feel behaviour ANGRY hurt me Subjective feeling (CNS) I want to Action tendencies PUNCH Behaviour (SNS) (CNS) something Physiological response (CNS, NES, ANS) An emotion occurrent is a mental process that is a synchronized complex of constituent mental and physicalprocesses including an appraisal process as part, and which gives rise to an action tendency. At least one appraisal precedes the othercomponents of the emotion, while it or others continue throughout the emotion occurrent and guide the process. Friday, July 29, 2011 14
  15. 15. ProcessesAn appraisal process is a mental process that givesrise to an appraisalA physiological response to emotion process is abodily process which encompasses all theneurophysiological changes caused by the emotionAn emotional behavioural process is the behaviourof the organism in response to the emotion, whichincludes the characteristic facial expressions forparticular emotion typesFriday, July 29, 2011 The Emotion Ontology (ICBO 2011) 15
  16. 16. Mental representationsAn appraisal is a cognitive representation whichrepresents an evaluation of the relevance ofsome triggering object or event to the organismThe subjective emotional feeling is an affectiverepresentation, that is, a representation thatthe organism has about its own affectFriday, July 29, 2011 Image credit: EPFL Blue Brain 16
  17. 17. DispositionsEmotional action tendencies are dispositions tobehaviour which inhere in an organismby virtue of the physical changes brought aboutby an emotion processFriday, July 29, 2011 The Emotion Ontology (ICBO 2011) 17
  18. 18. BFO:Entity BFO MFO BFO:Continuant BFO:Occurrent MFO-EM BFO:Independent BFO:Dependent Continuant Continuant BFO:Process Organism BFO:Disposition Bodily Process Physiological Response to Emotion Process Mental Process Cognitiveinheres_in Representation Appraisal Process Emotional Action Tendencies Affective is_output_of Representation Appraisal Emotional Behavioural Process Subjective Emotional Feeling has_part agent_of Emotion Occurrent
  19. 19. Get involved! emotion-ontology@googlegroups.comFriday, July 29, 2011 Image credit: David Shankbone 19
  20. 20. Acknowledgements Thanks Colin Batchelor (RSC), Damiano Costa (UNIGE) Funding Swiss National Science Foundation (NCCR Affective Sciences) US National Institutes of Health (Roadmap Grant 1 U 54 HG004028)Friday, July 29, 2011 20