A novel deep neural network-based emotion analysis system for automatic detection of mild cognitive impairment in the elderly

Zixiang Fei, Erfu Yang, Leijian Yu, Xia Li, Huiyu Zhou, Wenjun Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A significant number of people are suffering from cognitive impairment all over the world. Early detection of cognitive impairment is of great importance to both patients and caregivers. However, existing approaches have their shortages, such as time consumption and financial expenses involved in clinics and the neuroimaging stage. It has been found that patients with cognitive impairment show abnormal emotion patterns. In this paper, we present a novel deep neural network-based system to detect the cognitive impairment through the analysis of the evolution of facial emotions while participants are watching designed video stimuli. In our proposed system, a novel facial expression recognition algorithm is developed using layers from MobileNet and Support Vector Machine (SVM), which showed satisfactory performance in 3 datasets. To verify the proposed system in detecting cognitive impairment, 61 elderly people including patients with cognitive impairment and healthy people as a control group have been invited to participate in the experiments and a dataset was built accordingly. With this dataset, the proposed system has successfully achieved the detection accuracy of 73.3%.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)306-316
Number of pages11
Early online date20 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jan 2022


  • mild cognitive impairment
  • facial expression analysis
  • deep convolution network
  • MobileNet

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