Evaluation of the severity of major depression using a voice index for emotional arousal

Shuji Shinohara, Hiroyuki Toda, Mitsuteru Nakamura, Yasuhiro Omiya, Masakazu Higuchi, Takeshi Takano, Taku Saito, Masaaki Tanichi, Shuken Boku, Shunji Mitsuyoshi, Mirai So, Aihide Yoshino, Shinichi Tokuno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recently, the relationship between emotional arousal and depression has been studied. Focusing on this relationship, we first developed an arousal level voice index (ALVI) to measure arousal levels using the Interactive Emotional Dyadic Motion Capture database. Then, we calculated ALVI from the voices of depressed patients from two hospitals (Ginza Taimei Clinic (H1) and National Defense Medical College hospital (H2)) and compared them with the severity of depression as measured by the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D). Depending on the HAM-D score, the datasets were classified into a no depression (HAM-D < 8) and a depression group (HAM-D ≥ 8) for each hospital. A comparison of the mean ALVI between the groups was performed using the Wilcoxon rank-sum test and a significant difference at the level of 10% (p = 0.094) at H1 and 1% (p = 0.0038) at H2 was determined. The area under the curve (AUC) of the receiver operating characteristic was 0.66 when categorizing between the two groups for H1, and the AUC for H2 was 0.70. The relationship between arousal level and depression severity was indirectly suggested via the ALVI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5041
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 2 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Arousal level
  • Emotion
  • Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression
  • Hurst exponent
  • Major depression severity
  • Voice index
  • Zero-crossing rate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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