Dr. Phillip Wolff

Dr. Wolff is a Professor of Psychology at Emory University, where he serves as faculty in the Cognitive and Computational Science and Clinical Science concentrations. He also serves as core faculty in the Program in Linguistics and associated faculty in the Department of Computer Science. He has expertise in five areas of research:

1) Language Semantics

2) Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing

3) Digital phenotyping of mental illness (e.g., psychosis)

4) Digital phenotyping of neurodegenerative diseases (e.g., Alzheimer’s, Primary Progressive Aphasia, PPA).

5) Causal reasoning and future thinking

Dr. Wolff’s most recent research focuses on data mining natural language to extract biomarkers of psychosis, neurodegenerative disease, and basic cognitive processes. His approach to these topics is cross-disciplinary, combining insights from Psychology with those from Computer Science and Linguistics. His cross-disciplinary approach has resulted in over ten international talks in the last 6 years. In addition to serving as Director of the Program in Cognition and Development, he has also served as Interim Chair of Linguistics at Emory University and as faculty at the 2007 Summer Institute of Linguistics.

In Emory’s Psychology Department, he teaches the department’s Advanced Statistics courses and a methods course focusing on computational statistics and applying machine learning and AI to biomedical and psychological research. He has served as an Associate Editor for the journal Cognitive Science and a member of four editorial boards. Additionally, he is a site PI for Accelerated Medicines Partnership in Schizophrenia (AMP® SCZ), a large, international project involving over 42 sites worldwide. He leads the collection and NLP analyses of language biomarkers.


Work in the lab focuses on machine-learning/AI analyses of two NIH-funded projects focusing on the identification of linguistic biomarkers of Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA) and other neurodegenerative diseases, such as AD, FTLD, LBD, and two other NIH grants focusing on deep phenotyping of clinical high-risk individuals for psychosis (AMP SCZ).


Project Number: 1U01MH124639

Name of PD/PI: (Woods, Bearden, Kane-PD; Wolff-PI)

Title: ProNET: Psychosis-Risk Outcomes Network

Project/Proposal Start and End Date: 09/08/2020 – 08/31/2025

Project Number: 1U01MH124639 (supplement)

Name of PD/PI: (Woods, Bearden, Kane-PD; Wolff-PI)

Project/Proposal Start and End Date: 09/08/2021 – 05/31/2025

ProNET: Psychosis-Risk Outcomes Network (Administrative Supplement)

Project Number: R21 DC019567-01A1

Name of PD/PI: (Dickerson, Wolff – MPI)  

Project/Proposal Start and End Date: 02/04/2022 – 01/31/2024

Computational psycholinguistic analysis of speech samples in Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Frontal Temporal Dementia (FTD)

Recently Completed

Project Number: 1R21AG073744

Name of PD/PI: (Dickerson, Wolff – MPI)

Project/Proposal Start and End Date: 08/01/2021 – 10/31/2023

Title: Use of machine learning to quantify cognitive function in AD, FTD, and DLB.