Quantification of language
The most important source of information of other states of mind is the semantic content of language. However, previous quantitative research has largely ignored this information possibly because it is difficult to quantify. I have been fascinated by the possibility quantifying semantics by computational modeling of human learning of semantic. By applying these models to large text corpora, it is possible to quantify the semantic content of all words in a language. I am applying this method to diagnosis of mental health. In earlier studies i have also applied similiar methods to eyewitness memory, evaluation and evolution of social groups, psychotherapy, etc. See also the spin-off company WordDiagnostics.com (2018-current). I have aslo earlier founded the Saplo.com, a spin-off company focus on text analysis of news media (2007-2105). I have developed methods for stastistical analysis of texts data. You can conduct these analysis on the following online platform: www.semanticexcel.com
Computational modeling of memory
The brain consists of a large number of cells, or processing units, which together forms cognitive functioning as memory and consciousness. My research has focused on computational models aimed at understanding memory and cognition in the brain. Several of these models are based on neural network theories. I have published computational models on forgetting, the mirror effect, reaction times, serial position effect, frequency effects, successive tests, etc related to episodic and semantic memory.
Noise improves cognitive performance
Irrelevant stimuli is typically seen as distractive and removes attention from the relevant task. We have shown that irrelevant stimuli, in form of auditative noise, can actually improve cognitive performance, and that this effect is particular strong for people with poor attentive skills.
That people make every-day choice based on accessible intentions is often taken for granted, however, our research indicates that this may not be the case. We let subject choice between which of two faces they found most attractive, and immediately asked they to motivate their choice. Though “magical” trick we replaced the face to that they were actually given the faces they did not choose. Subjects failed to detect this mismatch between their own choice and the outcome of their choose, and were willing to make elaborated motivations of their motivations. These results questions whether people have access to their underlying reason for their choices.
Spin-off company: Saplo
Based on my research on human models of semantic, I and Mattias Tyrberg started Saplo – a company that imitates humans judgment of texts. The company now has six full time workeras and have solved product to Sydsvenskan and EPiSERVER. Product includes tagging, matching, sentiment analysis, topics, etc. Saplo were voted the one of the best 20 startup IT companies in Europe and have received VINNOVA grants. For more information see www.saplo.com. The webpage Trending.name shows which person are the most positively or negatively described this day.
Oscar Kjell (2018). Replacing numerical scales with statistical semantics applied to Harmony and happiness
Katarin Lundberg (2014-present). Measuring anxiety and deppresion with statistical semantics.
Kristina Karlsson (2018). Autobiograpical Multimodal memories analysed by statistical semantics.
Marie Gustavsson (2015). Evolution and Evolution of Social Groups
Petter Johansson (2006). Choice blindness
Göran Söderlund (2007). Noise Improves Cognitive Performance in Children with Low Dopamine Levels
Johan Hellman (2008-2013) "Prior Knowledge and Recognition Memory – a ComputationalModeling Approach"
Previous and current positions
- 2011- Full Professor in Cognitive Psychology, Lund university
- 2010-11 Full Professor in Psychology, Linnuniversitet
- 2008-10 Guest researcher, KTH
- 2003-08 Associate professor (research position), Lund University
- 2000-03 Assistant professor (research and teaching), Stockholm University
- 1998-00 Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Toronto, with Ben Murdock
- 1996-97 Research Position, University of Umeå
- 1993-96 Graduate position, University of Umeå, supervisor Lars-Göran Nilsson
- 1992-93 Research assistant, Department of Psychology, Umeå
- 1988-94 International research and work experience (3- to 4- month stays)
in Prague (1987),
San Diego (1991) and
London, City University with John Gardiner (1994)
- 1988-92 Computer consultant, Sverker Soft Service, 50% part time
- 1987 Computer support, City of Haninge, Department of Roads.
- 2003 Docent (associate professor)
- 1992-96 Ph.D. Psychology, 160p, University of Umeå
- 1989-92 Bachelor psychology 120p (psykologprogrammet), University of Uppsala
- 1986-89 Business economics 20p,
National economy 20p,
Psychology, cognition and perception, 50p University of Uppsala
- 1984-90 Master of Science in Engineering Physics (Teknisk Fysik), 180p, Uppsala
2018-21 Vinnova. Förbättrad diagnostisering av mental hälsa med beskrivande ord och artificiell intelligens. (2018-02007). 3294 tkr.
2018-21 Kamprad Foundation. Förbättrad diagnostik för psykisk ohälsa hos äldre: implementering av beslutsstöd baserat på beskrivande ord och artificiell intelligens, Sverker Sikström, Lunds universitet, 4 300 000 kronor, ref # 20180281
2018-21 The Swedish Research Council: Voting behavior and statistical semantics, 4.2 MSEK. Annika Freden & Sverker Sikström (2017-02941)
2018-21 The Swedish Research Council: Språkets betydelse för jämställdhet på jobbet (2017-00418). 3.2 MSEK. Anna Lindqvist, Emma Bäck, Sverker Sikström & Marie Gustafsson-Seden.
2015-19 The Swedish Research Council: The Advantages of Analysing Language: Developing Language-Based Methods for Measuring and Describing Psychological Constructs, 3 MSEK (2015-01229). Danilo Garcia & Sverker Sikström
2012-15 Stiftelsen Marcus och Amalia Wallenbergs Minnesfond. “Noise as a tool to improve school performance in inattentive schoolchildren”, 3 miljoner. Sverker Sikström, Göran Söderlund.
- 2008-11 ESF: Vagueness, Approximation, and Granularity. Forskningsledare Peter Gärdenfors och Sverker Sikström. 3 600 000 skr.
- 2009-11 VR:Hum&Sam ”Semantic Spapces in Psychology”. 1 400 000 Skr.
- 2006-08 VR:Hum&Sam ”Neurala nätverksmodeller av minne”. 1 300 000 Skr.
- 2003-05 VR: Hum&Sam ”Neurala nätverksmodeller av minne”. 969 000 Skr.
- 2000-02 HSFR Minnesmodeller 780 000 Skr.
- 1998-00 Post-doc grant from the Swedish Research council
”Patent-pending” (61/111031) on the ”Method and system for analyzing text”.
”Evaluating Trueness of Eyewitness Statements using Semantic Spaces” (US 61/216, 858).
A Model for Stochastic Drift in Memory Strength to Account for Judgments of Learning. Psychological Review, 112(4), 932-950.
Visual Basic implantation of the JOLLY model (New window)
Sikström, S. & Söderlund, G. (2007). Stimulus Dependent Dopamine Release in ADHD. In press Psychological Review (October issue 2007).
Excel-implementation of the MBA model (New window)
Semantic: Scientific Software to investigating Semantic Representations
LSALAB is a software for working with semantic spaces.
It includes visual plotting of semantic relations, animation, ttest of semantic relations, downloading corpuses, etc.
Selected Media attention
Matti & Petter Kallioinen ‘s ‘Memo i Tankevärlden’
Memo i tankevärlden
P1 Forum interview about Choice Blindness (Swedish) (New window) LÄNK
P4 Boulevard interview about Choice Blindness (Swedish) (New window) LÄNK
Recent research outputs
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article