Towards an Ontology of Mental Functioning

Janna Hastings, Gwen Frishkoff, Barry Smith and Werner Ceusters

22 July 2012, Graz, Austria

This workshop is now completed.  It was a good session with great discussions -- thanks to everyone who attended and contributed!  Presenter slides are available below.

Schedule and Slides





Arrivals, Registration, Coffee


Welcome, Introduction, Workshop Overview SLIDES

Janna Hastings, Gwen Frishkoff


Mental Functioning and Semantic Search in the Neuroscience Information Framework SLIDES

Maryann Martone


Representing mental functioning: Ontologies for mental health and disease SLIDES

Janna Hastings


========COFFEE BREAK========



Ontology and Neuroscience



Mental Functioning IS Neural Functioning: Towards a Unified Ontology of Mind, Brain, and Behavior SLIDES

Gwen Frishkoff


What is the relationship between cognitive experiments and cognitive processes? SLIDES

Jessica Turner, Angela Laird


GROUP DISCUSSION: Relating mind and brain SLIDES

Moderator: BS


========LUNCH BREAK=========



Ontology and Biological Investigations



Mental Functioning in the Gene Ontology and Annotations SLIDES

Jane Lomax


Mental Functioning and the Ontology of Language SLIDES

Barry Smith


GROUP DISCUSSION: Integrating MF research across disciplines using ontologies

Moderator: JH


========COFFEE BREAK=========



Applications in Psychology, Neuroscience and Medicine



Annotating affective neuroscience data with the Emotion Ontology SLIDES

Janna Hastings


Ontologies for the Study of Neurological Disease SLIDES

Alexander Cox, Mark Jensen et al.


GROUP DISCUSSION: Applications, Canonical and non-canonical functioning: representing disease and dysfunction

Moderator: GF


Workshop closing: Gaps, publication strategy and action points

Moderator: JH & GF

Mental functioning includes all the faculties of the mind, e.g., perception, planning, language, memory, emotion, and self-representation. The study of these processes cuts across disciplines such as psychology, neuroscience, and biomedicine. These disciplines have seen remarkable progress and have brought complementary methods to bear in understanding mental processes and their biological bases.

However, translating the results of such research across disciplinary boundaries in order to achieve a holistic view of the current state of the art, to faciliate knowledge discovery and to enable the translation of research results into benefits to patients, remains a challenge. Ontologies are increasingly used to annotate and organise primary data in each of these disciplines, and ontologies are also widely used to enable interdisciplinary research in other fields. The primary objective of this workshop is to enable such translational benefits for existing annotation efforts through the creation of a strategy for interlinking and aligning mental functioning ontologies.

There remain important gaps in representation of mental functioning entities across disciplines, reflected in differences in ontologies such as the Gene Ontology, Neural ElectroMagnetic Ontology, Cognitive Paradigm Ontology, and the Mental Functioning and Disease ontologies. In some cases, mental processes have been interpreted in different — even incommensurate — ways. In other cases, there are transparent relationships between ontologies. Finally, some differences reflect different, and highly complementary, levels of analysis (e.g., neuronal vs. systems-level representation of memory changes in the brain); this case may present the most interesting challenge.

The objective of the workshop is to bring together scientists, ontology developers and users interested in the domain of mental functioning and to generate a targeted discussion of gaps and challenges in harmonization and representation.