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The Mind-Full Series: Brain-Tablet Games for Self Regulation

Funded by NSERC, SSHRC, GRAND NCE and MSR

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The Mind-Full project started in Nepal with this question: How can we provide education for some of the world's poorest children? Even with access to education many children are unable to stay calm and focus on learning due to the multiple traumas they have suffered: poverty, parental mental illness and addictions, homelessness and civil war. In the Mind-Full project we first explored how to design a brain-computer interface for tablet-based self-regulation games to help children living in poverty in Pokhara (Nepal) learn to self-regulate anxiety and attention. The Mind-Full brain-tablet application makes invisible brain processes visible in ways that children can understand. It is a modern take on the ancient practice of meditation using neurofeedback. Results from a 14 week field trial with an active control group showed that children were able to complete the Mind-Full intervention, transfer self-regulation skills into the classroom and onto the playground, and the effects were maintained for 2 months post-intervention.

Based on these successful outcomes, we re-fined Mind-Full, built three new versions, Mind-Full Wind (Nepal), Mind-Full Wild (Urban), and Mind-Full Sky (Aboriginal) and released beta versions of the new Mind-Full apps on the Google Play store. In a second 16 week field trial with an active control group in an urban centre in Canada, working with a population of young children (ages 6 to 8) with a history of trauma and/or anxiety and attentional challenges, we found similar results on behavioral measures and significant evidence of improvement on objective measures including repeated salivary cortisol tests (stress) and tests of executive functioning (attention).

Current project goals 2017-2018:

  • Writing up papers on the design process and evaluation results
  • Porting Mind-Full Wind, Wild and Sky from Android to Apple to release in Apple Store
  • Developing a Mind-Full version that targets teen anxiety through co-design process
  • Running a second study in Nepal
  • Writing a grant that would enable us to develop a Mind-Full version to help improve the quality of life of young children living with cancer
  • Working with the urban school district to study how to roll out Mind-Full out more broadly into classrooms and counselling offices
  • Using newly completed business case and donar funding to expand with investors and/or distribution partners.

Publications

  • Antle, A.N., Chesick, L. and McLaren, E.S. Opening up the design space of neurofeedback brain computer interfaces for children: Five strong concepts. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (ToCHI), in press. [Available upon request]
  • Antle, A.N., Chesick, L., Levisohn, A., Sridharan, S.K., and Tan P. (2015) Using neurofeedback to teach self-regulation to children living in poverty. In Proceedings of Conference on Interaction Design for Children (IDC '15), ACM Press (Medford, MA, USA, June 21-24), 119-128. [This is the first report of the 16 week field study and includes only assessment results for pre and mid points in the study.]
  • Antle, A.N. and Bevans, A. (2012) Creative design: Exploring value propositions with urban nepalese children. In Proceedings of Advances in Computer Entertainment (ACE '12), Springer, (Kathmandu, Nepal, November 3-6), 465-468. [This paper descibes a workshop that was run in Kathmandu, and extended to interviews in Pokara, and led to the idea for this project]

Papers in Progress

  • Antle, A.N., Chesick, L., Sridharan, S.K. and Levisohn, A. East meets west: A Mind-Full brain computer interface for children living in poverty. [Full Nepal field experiment results] (expected submission Fall 2017).
  • Antle, A.N., Chesick, L., McLaren, E. Mind-Full brain-computer self-regulation games: Do they help children overcome anxiety and attentional challenges in the classroom? [Full Urban field experiment results] (expected submission Fall 2017).

Media and Press

Project Videos

Current Team

  • Alissa N. Antle: Research, Project and Design Lead
  • Leslie Chesick, Nepal House Society and UBC Counselling Services, Trauma Therapist
  • Perry Tan, System Programming

  • Fan Lin, Art
  • Elgin McLaren, Project Manager

Previous Team

Graduate Students and Staff

  • Srilekha Kirshnamachari Sridharan, Data Analysis
  • Anja Haman Consulting, Business Case Development
  • Randa Aljohani, Testing
  • Christine Best, Marketing and Web
  • Aaron Levisohn: Project Manager and Usability Researcher
  • Anna Macaranas: Project Manager

Undergraduate Students

  • Saba Nowroozi: Interaction Design
  • Rachael Eckersley (FCAT Undergraduate Research Award): Art
  • Joseph Leung: Programming
  • Nathan Waddington: Android-Neuroskyp Programming

 


antle

Contact Info

Research Interests

children children