17 December 2020

Psychological and subjective age

A set of psychomarkers of aging was developed with the help of artificial intelligence

Anna Yudina, "Scientific Russia"

Deep Longevity scientists have published the first set of psychomarkers of aging, developed using machine learning to track changes in human psychology, – writes eurekalert.org with reference to Aging (Zhavoronkov et al., PsychoAge and SubjAge: development of deep markers of psychological and subjective age using artificial intelligence – VM).


Deep Longevity, a company developing artificial intelligence to track human aging and prolong productive longevity, has released the first hours of psychological aging based on artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze and interpret psychosocial factors in the context of aging. Deep Longevity researchers, joined by Dr. Peter Diamandis, a doctor, engineer and entrepreneur, founder of the XPRIZE Foundation and Singularity University, published their study entitled "Psychological and Subjective Age: Developing deep markers of psychological and subjective age using artificial intelligence."

Like other species following the classical evolutionary paradigm, humans are born, develop, reproduce, take care of their young, and then gradually age and die. However, humans are conscious intelligent species and change their behavior, priorities, beliefs, and attitudes throughout their lives. Previous work on the theory of socio-emotional selectivity has demonstrated that a person's life horizons can be manipulated, and people's behavior can be influenced. In order to better understand the features that affect psychological age and perceived age, as well as the mind-body relationship in the context of aging, Deep Longevity scientists decided to apply their skills in the development of deep biomarkers of aging in human psychology.

Biomarkers of aging, which can accurately quantify the human aging process using various types of biological data, commonly referred to as "aging clocks", are among the most important recent advances in longevity research. For example, in November, Deep Longevity scientists published one such aging clock based on DNA methylation, which showed excellent performance compared to all other comparable solutions.

Despite significant progress in the technology of aging clocks, the psychological aspect of aging has not been sufficiently studied. However, it is expected that a new study of deep psychomarkers of aging will significantly accelerate progress in the psychology of aging. A recently published study aims to fill this gap by demonstrating two AI-based predictors of age: PsychoAge (which predicts chronological age) and SubjAge (which describes the perception of the rate of aging). These models were trained on a set of more than 10,000 questionnaires filled out by people aged 25 to 75 as part of the "Middle Age in the United States (MIDUS)" study conducted by the MacArthur Foundation. The models presented in the publication have been reworked into 15-question surveys available on Young.AI, so that people can find out the estimates of their psychological and subjective age.

The authors of the study tested SubjAge on large independent datasets to find that a higher SubjAge predicts mortality from all causes very well. In particular, a person whose SubjAge is five years older than the chronological age indicated by him is twice as likely to die as a person with a normal perception of age.

The authors also indicate how SubjAge can be therapeutically manipulated to make patients feel younger and thereby reduce their risk of death. For example, developing openness to new experiences can shorten the SubjAge forecast by seven years. Keeping the bar at a high level, being productive and not giving up hard-to-achieve goals will take another four years from the perceived age of a person.

"For the first time, artificial intelligence can predict a person's psychological and subjective age and help identify possible interventions that can be applied to help people feel and behave younger," said Alex Zhavoronkov, Ph.D., founder and head of the Deep Longevity support service and co–author of the study. – The way of thinking can determine decisions that ultimately affect overall health. By identifying the psychosocial variables underlying a particular way of thinking and behavior, deep psychological clocks can serve as a powerful tool in promoting personal improvement, mental health, well-being and a wide range of factors. other medical and therapeutic applications".

In subsequent studies of psychological aging, Deep Longevity plans to study differences in the perception of aging between men and women, to study psychosocial markers associated with mental health, and to build an integrated model of cross-links between mental and physical health.

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