OKANOYA Emotional Information

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Research Director: Kazuo OKANOYA
(Professor, Graduate School and Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo)
Research Term: 2008-2013



"Emotional Information" refers to information that conveys our state of mind such as joy, distress, surprise, and anger. Similar to language, we assume our emotions follow a specific set of rules (emotion syntax). Based on evolutionary and developmental analyses of emotional processes, we seek a computational coding schema for emotional information. For this, we investigate psycho-biological properties of emotional information in animals that rely heavily on vocal communication such as birds and rodents, as well as pre-linguistic infants, language-acquiring children, and adults.

The value of emotional information has been recognized but largely neglected in modern information technology. Based on studies of biological mechanisms of emotion, this research program aims to invent and develop a coding schema for emotional information. When successfully applied, such techniques should tremendously enhance the utility of human telecommunication. Possible applications include Internet browsers, human-friendly robots, and web applications with emotional information.



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