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Gaggioli A.,Applied Technology for Neuro Psychology Laboratory | Pioggia G.,CNR Institute of Clinical Physiology | Tartarisco G.,CNR Institute of Clinical Physiology | Baldus G.,CNR Institute of Clinical Physiology | And 7 more authors.
Studies in Health Technology and Informatics | Year: 2012

Prolonged exposure to stressful environments can lead to serious health problems. Therefore, measuring stress in daily life situations through non-invasive procedures has become a significant research challenge. In this paper, we describe a system for the automatic detection of momentary stress from behavioral and physiological measures collected through wearable sensors. The system's architecture consists of two key components: a) a mobile acquisition module; b) an analysis and decision module. The mobile acquisition module is a smartphone application coupled with a newly developed sensor platform (Personal Biomonitoring System, PBS). The PBS acquires behavioral (motion activity, posture) and physiological (hearth rate) variables, performs low-level, real-time signal preprocessing, and wirelessly communicates with the smartphone application, which in turn connects to a remote server for further signal processing and storage. The decision module is realized on a knowledge basis, using neural network and fuzzy logic algorithms able to combine as input the physiological and behavioral features extracted by the PBS and to classify the level of stress, after previous knowledge acquired during a training phase. The training is based on labeling of physiological and behavioral data through self-reports of stress collected via the smartphone application. After training, the smartphone application can be configured to poll the stress analysis report at fixed time steps or at the request of the user. Preliminary testing of the system is ongoing. © 2012 Interactive Media Institute and IOS Press.


Dakanalis A.,University of Pavia | Dakanalis A.,University of Milan Bicocca | Timko A.,Children's Hospital of Philadelphia | Serino S.,Applied Technology for Neuro Psychology Laboratory | And 4 more authors.
European eating disorders review : the journal of the Eating Disorders Association | Year: 2016

The course of college women's eating pathology is variable. Little is known about psychosocial factors prospectively predicting maintenance/cessation or the new onset of clinically significant disordered eating symptoms. This study aimed to address these research gaps. College women (N = 2202) completed an assessment of eating pathology and potential risk/maintenance factors at two time points, 9 months apart. Logistic regression models indicated that elevated body dissatisfaction, thin-ideal internalization, self-objectification, negative affectivity and lower self-esteem at baseline predicted 'onset' of clinically significant disordered eating symptomatology at follow-up. Greater self-esteem and lower initial levels on the remaining risk factors predicted subsequent 'cessation' of clinically significant disordered eating symptoms. Self-objectification had greater explanatory value with regard to 'cessation' and 'onset' relative to the remaining traditionally accepted factors that demonstrated half as much predictive power or less. Practical implications are discussed. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.


PubMed | University of Milan Bicocca, University of Pavia, Applied Technology for Neuro Psychology Laboratory, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and 2 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: European eating disorders review : the journal of the Eating Disorders Association | Year: 2016

The course of college womens eating pathology is variable. Little is known about psychosocial factors prospectively predicting maintenance/cessation or the new onset of clinically significant disordered eating symptoms. This study aimed to address these research gaps. College women (N = 2202) completed an assessment of eating pathology and potential risk/maintenance factors at two time points, 9 months apart. Logistic regression models indicated that elevated body dissatisfaction, thin-ideal internalization, self-objectification, negative affectivity and lower self-esteem at baseline predicted onset of clinically significant disordered eating symptomatology at follow-up. Greater self-esteem and lower initial levels on the remaining risk factors predicted subsequent cessation of clinically significant disordered eating symptoms. Self-objectification had greater explanatory value with regard to cessation and onset relative to the remaining traditionally accepted factors that demonstrated half as much predictive power or less. Practical implications are discussed.


Gaggioli A.,Applied Technology for Neuro Psychology Laboratory | Gaggioli A.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart | Raspelli S.,Applied Technology for Neuro Psychology Laboratory | Raspelli S.,University of Milan Bicocca | And 9 more authors.
Studies in Health Technology and Informatics | Year: 2011

In this paper we introduce a new ubiquitous computing paradigm for behavioral health care: "Interreality". Interreality integrates assessment and treatment within a hybrid environment, that creates a bridge between the physical and virtual worlds. Our claim is that bridging virtual experiences (fully controlled by the therapist, used to learn coping skills and emotional regulation) with real experiences (allowing both the identification of any critical stressors and the assessment of what has been learned) using advanced technologies (virtual worlds, advanced sensors and PDA/mobile phones) may improve existing psychological treatment. To illustrate the proposed concept, a clinical scenario is also presented and discussed: Daniela, a 40 years old teacher, with a mother affected by Alzheimer's disease. © 2011 The authors.


Riva G.,Applied Technology for Neuro Psychology Laboratory | Riva G.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart | Raspelli S.,Applied Technology for Neuro Psychology Laboratory | Pallavicini F.,Applied Technology for Neuro Psychology Laboratory | And 8 more authors.
Studies in Health Technology and Informatics | Year: 2010

The term "psychological stress" describes a situation in which a subject perceives that environmental demands tax or exceed his or her adaptive capacity. According to the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, the best validated approach covering both stress management and stress treatment is the Cognitive Behavioral (CBT) approach. We aim to design, develop and test an advanced ICT based solution for the assessment and treatment of psychological stress that is able to improve the actual CBT approach. To reach this goal we will use the "interreality" paradigm integrating assessment and treatment within a hybrid environment, that creates a bridge between the physical and virtual worlds. Our claim is that bridging virtual experiences (fully controlled by the therapist, used to learn coping skills and emotional regulation) with real experiences (allowing both the identification of any critical stressors and the assessment of what has been learned) using advanced technologies (virtual worlds, advanced sensors and PDA/mobile phones) is the best way to address the above limitations. To illustrate the proposed concept, a clinical scenario is also presented and discussed: Paola, a 45 years old nurse, with a mother affected by progressive senile dementia. © 2010 The Interactive Media Institute and IOS Press. All rights reserved.


Ferrer-Garcia M.,University of Barcelona | Gutierrez-Maldonado J.,University of Barcelona | Pla J.,University of Barcelona | Riva G.,Applied Technology for Neuro Psychology Laboratory | And 9 more authors.
Studies in Health Technology and Informatics | Year: 2014

The objective of this study was to identify frequent situations and specific cues that produce the craving to binge in Spanish and Italian samples of patients with eating disorders (ED). There were two main aims: to assess transcultural differences in the contexts and cues that elicit food craving; and to develop valid, reliable VR environments for effective cue-exposure therapy (CET) for patients from both countries. Twenty-six Spanish and 75 Italian ED patients completed an ad hoc questionnaire to assess contexts and cues that trigger the craving to binge. No differences between groups were found. All patients reported experiencing higher levels of craving in the afternoon/early evening and in the late evening/night, between meals, when alone, and more frequently at the end of the week. Being in the dining room, the kitchen, the bedroom, the bakery and the supermarket were the specific situations that produced the highest levels of craving to binge. We used the questionnaire results to develop a virtual reality application for CET. © 2014 The authors and IOS Press.


Cipresso P.,Applied Technology for Neuro Psychology Laboratory | Serino S.,Applied Technology for Neuro Psychology Laboratory | Pedroli E.,Applied Technology for Neuro Psychology Laboratory | Gaggioli A.,Applied Technology for Neuro Psychology Laboratory | And 3 more authors.
Studies in Health Technology and Informatics | Year: 2014

Unilateral Spatial Neglect (USN) is normally assessed with paper-And-pencil tests. Virtual reality can be an effective neuropsychological tool for a more ecological and functional assessment and rehabilitation of neglect. We developed a 3D Virtual Reality platform-NeuroVirtual 3D-for the assessment and rehabilitation of cognitive deficits, in particular for USN. Within the virtual environments it is possible to interact with virtual objects and execute specific exercises using a Microsoft Kinect. Through the analysis of different grasping tasks it is possible to evaluate in an ecological way the patients' ability to find and handle objects in both sides of the virtual space. © 2014 The authors and IOS Press. All rights reserved.


PubMed | Applied Technology for Neuro Psychology Laboratory
Type: | Journal: Studies in health technology and informatics | Year: 2011

In this paper we introduce a new ubiquitous computing paradigm for behavioral health care: Interreality. Interreality integrates assessment and treatment within a hybrid environment, that creates a bridge between the physical and virtual worlds. Our claim is that bridging virtual experiences (fully controlled by the therapist, used to learn coping skills and emotional regulation) with real experiences (allowing both the identification of any critical stressors and the assessment of what has been learned) using advanced technologies (virtual worlds, advanced sensors and PDA/mobile phones) may improve existing psychological treatment. To illustrate the proposed concept, a clinical scenario is also presented and discussed: Daniela, a 40 years old teacher, with a mother affected by Alzheimers disease.


PubMed | University of Bergamo, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Ospedale Castelli Verbania Verbania and Applied Technology for Neuro Psychology Laboratory
Type: | Journal: Frontiers in aging neuroscience | Year: 2015

Several studies have pointed out that egocentric and allocentric spatial impairments are one of the earliest manifestations of Alzheimers Disease (AD). It is less clear how a break in the continuous interaction between these two representations may be a crucial marker to detect patients who are at risk to develop dementia. The main objective of this study is to compare the performances of participants suffering from amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI group), patients with AD (AD group) and a control group (CG), using a virtual reality (VR)-based procedure for assessing the abilities in encoding, storing and syncing different spatial representations. In the first task, participants were required to indicate on a real map the position of the object they had memorized, while in the second task they were invited to retrieve its position from an empty version of the same virtual room, starting from a different position. The entire procedure was repeated across three different trials, depending on the object location in the encoding phase. Our finding showed that aMCI patients performed significantly more poorly in the third trial of the first task, showing a deficit in the ability to encode and store an allocentric viewpoint independent representation. On the other hand, AD patients performed significantly more poorly when compared to the CG in the second task, indicating a specific impairment in storing an allocentric viewpoint independent representation and then syncing it with the allocentric viewpoint dependent representation. Furthermore, data suggested that these impairments are not a product of generalized cognitive decline or of general decay in spatial abilities, but instead may reflect a selective deficit in the spatial organization Overall, these findings provide an initial insight into the cognitive underpinnings of amnestic impairment in aMCI and AD patient exploiting the potentiality of VR.


PubMed | Catholic University of MilanMilano and Applied Technology for Neuro Psychology Laboratory
Type: | Journal: Frontiers in psychology | Year: 2016

Expressions of emotions are pervasive in media, especially in movies. In this article, we focus on the emotional relationships of movie characters in narrative thought and emotional storytelling. Several studies examine emotion elicitation through movies, but there is a gap in scientific literature and in the practice to quantitatively consider emotions among the characters of a movie story, which in turn provide the basis of spectator emotion elicitation. Some might argument that the ultimate purpose of a movie is to elicit emotions in the viewers; however, we are highlighting that the path to emotional stimulation entails emotions among the characters composing a narrative and manipulating to enable the effective elicitation of viewers emotions. Here we provided and tested an effective quantitative method for analyzing these relationships in emotional networks, which allow for a clear understanding of the effects of story changes on movie perceptions and pleasantness.

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