Eye Movement Analysis For Depression Detection

Sharifa Alghowinem, Roland GOECKE, Michael WAGNER, Gordon Parker, Michael Breakspear

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookConference contributionpeer-review

113 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)


Depression is a common and disabling mental health disorder, which impacts not only on the sufferer but also on their families, friends and the economy overall. Despite its high prevalence, current diagnosis relies almost exclusively on patient self-report and clinical opinion, leading to a number of subjective biases. Our aim is to develop an objective affective sensing system that supports clinicians in their diagnosis and monitoring of clinical depression. In this paper, we analyse the performance of eye movement features extracted from face videos using Active Appearance Models for a binary classification task (depressed vs. non-depressed). We find that eye movement low-level features gave 70% accuracy using a hybrid classifier of Gaussian Mixture Models and Support Vector Machines, and 75% accuracy when using statistical measures with SVM classifiers over the entire interview. We also investigate differences while expressing positive and negative emotions, as well as the classification performance in gender-dependent versus gender- independent modes. Interestingly, even though the blinking rate was not significantly different between depressed and healthy controls, we find that the average distance between the eyelids (‘eye opening’) was significantly smaller and the average duration of blinks significantly longer in depressed subjects, which might be an indication of fatigue or eye contact avoidance.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2013 IEEE International Conference on Image Processing ICIP2013
EditorsBrian Lovell, David Suter
Place of PublicationMelbourne, Australia
PublisherIEEE, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)9781479923410
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Event2013 IEEE International Conference on Image Processing ICIP2013 - Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 5 Sept 201318 Sept 2013


Conference2013 IEEE International Conference on Image Processing ICIP2013


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