News

CSBC researchers show rise and fall of rationality in language (PNAS)

This new paper is the result of a long-standing collaboration between CSBC director Johan Bollen and Marten Scheffer, Ingrid van de Leemput, and Els Weinans of Wageningen University: “The rise and fall of rationality in language”

Summary:

“The post-truth era has taken many by surprise. Here, we use massive language analysis to demonstrate that the rise of fact-free argumentation may perhaps be understood as part of a deeper change. After the year 1850, the use of sentiment-laden words in Google Books declined systematically, while the use of words associated with fact-based argumentation rose steadily. This pattern reversed in the 1980s, and this change accelerated around 2007, when across languages, the frequency of fact-related words dropped while emotion-laden language surged, a trend paralleled by a shift from collectivistic to individualistic language.”

 … continue reading.

CSBC researchers discover surge in cognitive distortions since the 1980s

In a study published in PNAS, “Historical language records reveal a surge of cognitive distortions in recent decades,” CSBC researchers in the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering and colleagues at IU’s Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences analyzed millions of books published over the past 125 years. They discovered that, since the 1980s there has been a surge of language indicative of “cognitive distortions,” thinking patterns usually seen in internalizing orders such a depression and anxiety.

The paper results from a interdisciplinary collaboration between CSBC members Johan Bollen, Alexander Barron, Marijn ten Thij, Psychology and Brain Sciences faculty Lorenzo Lorenzo-Luaces and Lauren Rutter, Provost Professor of Germanic Studies Fritz Breithaupt, and Marten Scheffer of Wageningen University.

“Our analysis of the language used in a collection of more than 14 million books published from 1855 to 2019 in the United States, and German-, and Spanish-speaking countries, reveals a worrisome pattern,” Bollen said. “We see a pronounced ‘hockey stick’ pattern in which the use of cognitive distortion expressions surged well above historical levels in recent decades, including those of the great depression, and World War I and II, after declining or stable levels for most of the 20th century.”

The full press release can be found here

Full paper details:

Historical language records reveal a surge of cognitive distortions in recent decades Johan BollenMarijn ten ThijFritz BreithauptAlexander T. J. BarronLauren A. RutterLorenzo Lorenzo-LuacesMarten Scheffer
continue reading.

Congratulations to new PhD Kelly McClinton!

 

Congratulations to CASCI member Kelly McClinton for successfully defending her dissertation entitled “Computationally Modeling Roman Domestic Art and Architecture” on April 23rd 2021. Kelly was co-supervised by Luis Rocha and Bernard Frischer. She completed her PhD degree as a fellow of the NSF-NRT Interdisciplinary training in Complex networks and Systems. Dr. McClinton’s research investigates how computational models, including 3D reconstructions, mixed-media models, complex systems, and machine learning, present unique technological affordances in studying the fragmented material record of ancient Rome, focusing on domestic Roman art and architecture. In addition to Complex Networks and Systems, her dissertation contributes to the fields of virtual heritage, archaeology, and art history. Kelly is now the Assistant Director of the Virtual World Heritage Lab, and this fall, Kelly will be studying at the University of Oxford, and working on a project entitled “Elite Identity in Domestic Space in Rome. Architectural Change and Redecoration in Late Antique Houses” under the supervision of Professor Ine Jacobs… continue reading.

Uncovering the “master switches” of biochemical networks can explain the effects of drugs in the destruction of cancer cells

Researchers from our lab, in collaboration with the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering, the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, and Northeastern University have developed a mathematical framework that increases our ability to explain and control biochemical systems, including those involved in disease.

In a paper featured on the cover of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), Professor of Informatics Luis Rocha and Alexander Gates (who earned his Ph.D. in complex networks and systems from the Luddy School), introduce an effective graph that can capture nonlinear logical redundancy present in biochemical network regulation, signaling, and control.

Rion Correia (a member of the CSBC lab, who also earned his Ph.D. in complex networks and systems from the Luddy School and Xuan Wang, a current Ph.D. candidate, and member of the lab) are also working on the project. Together, the authors demonstrate the utility of the approach with computational models of human cancer cells, showing that the effective graph reveals why some cancer medications are more effective than others in killing breast cancer cells.

You can read the full details via the press releases below:

Luddy Press Release

Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência Press Release

You can read the article here:

https://www.pnas.org/content/118/12/e2022598118

*Those interested in contacting the authors should do so directly, via the links provided above.… continue reading.

CSBC researchers use Twitter data to study mental health impact of COVID-19

Researchers at the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering, led by Professor of Informatics and Computing Johan Bollen, Assistant Professor of Public Heath Danny Valdez from the IU School of Public Health, and Bollen’s post-doctoral fellow Marijn ten Thij, with colleagues in the Department of Psychology and Brain Science, used data collected from Twitter to study how use of the service changed during the early months of the pandemic and how the mood of its users evolved over time. The study, “Social Media Insights Into U.S. Mental Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Longitudinal Analysis of Twitter Data,” was recently published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.

Press release: https://luddy.indiana.edu/news/story.html?story=Luddy-researchers-use-Twitter-data-to-study-mental-health-impact-of-COVID19

Please cite as: Valdez D, ten Thij M, Bathina K, Rutter LA, Bollen J. Social Media Insights Into US Mental Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Longitudinal Analysis of Twitter Data. J Med Internet Res 2020;22(12):e21418, DOI: 10.2196/21418, PMID: 33284783, PMCID: 7744146continue reading.

Reopening Colleges Likely Fueled Covid-19 Significantly

Prof. Ana Bento, affiliated with the CSBC, has published a new study showing that colleges and universities that reopened for face-to-face instruction might have caused tens of thousands of additional cases of Covid-19 in recent weeks. The team, which includes  researchers at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Indiana University, the University of Washington and Davidson College, estimated that an extra 3,200 cases a day occurred in the U.S. that likely wouldn’t have happened had schools kept classes online.

‘We’re not saying it was a terrible mistake to open. Just that the influx of individuals, which was much greater where there is face-to-face [instruction], is correlated with a larger increase in cases.’ Prof. Ana Bento.

See article in Wall Street Journal for more details.… continue reading.