Developmental Evaluation of the STAR Recovery Centre

This research project centres on a new recovery centre for vulnerable adults with complex mental health and addictions issues in Toronto. Recovery is an approach to mental health that values person-centred care and self-direction. Recovery centres are educational centres, based in the community, that provide programs that help people live normal, meaningful lives in their communities. This research project will be an evaluation of the early stages of a recovery centre.

Effects of Probiotics on Anxiety and ADHD in Children

The Probiotics and Mental Health Research Lab in the Psychology Department at Acadia University is currently involved in exciting and innovative research examining the benefits that probiotics (a type of beneficial bacteria found in the human digestive tract as well as in certain foods) may provide to individuals living with psychological conditions such as anxiety, depression, and ADHD. While it is already well documented that probiotics promote good digestive health, less is known about the effects of probiotics on psychological health.

A Window into the Mind at a Price You Can Afford: Developing an Online and Offline Pupil-Size Analysis Plug-in

We will harness the power of Mirametrix eye-tracking technology to offer a viable means of probing internal mental processes that were previously intractable without more expensive or invasive techniques. Through the innovative application of popular statistical methods and state-of-the-art machine learning techniques, we will produce a software plug-in capable of online and offline pupil size analysis.

Continuing an Evaluation of the Skills for Safer Living Program by Developing and Testing an Outcomes Evaluation Measure

The proposed research project is an evaluation of the outcomes of a suicide prevention program, Skills for Safer Living (SFSL). The program is an intervention that targets individuals with a high risk of suicide as indicated by multiple prior suicide attempts. SFSL has been adapted from a previous program that has shown positive outcomes, but an evaluation of SFSL outcomes has yet to be done.

Exploring the digital divide: The use of digital tools in Ontario public schools

Governments around the world are investing to bridge the “digital divide,” which refers to the gap among populations in terms of ability to access digital tools and the Internet. This effort is especially evident in public schools, because education has been identified as one contributing factor of the divide. Thus, it is of great public interest to investigate whether schools are providing enough opportunities for youth to engage with ICT as an effort to bridge the digital divide. This proposed research seeks to develop a deeper understanding of ICT use in Ontario’s public schools.

Can brain fitness mobile apps really make you smarter?

Mobile brain fitness applications such as Vivity Lab’s Fit Brains aims to improve cognitive performance through frequent brain exercise games. This concept is based on previous research that frequent video gaming can produce transferrable cognitive improvement in another related cognitive task in the same domain (i.e. reaction speed while driving). Although the efficacy of mobile brain fitness application had been shown in elderly, more efficacy studies are needed for other populations.

Phase I: Using simultaneous EEG-fMRI to study the affective mechanisms underlying obsessive compulsive disorder

The aim of this project is to improve simultaneous EEG-fMRI techniques through the use of constrained principal component analysis (CPCA). The main problem with combining EEG measures and fMRI measures is that recording EEG in the MR scanner always injects noise into the data. CPCA partitions the variability of the data into systematic and error variance.

The Smile Epidemic: Investigating the Impact of a Digital Social Media Gratitude Intervention

Research shows that keeping a gratitude journal can enhance well-being. The Smile Epidemic Inc. is a start-up company that has developed a digital, photographic social media update on the traditional (private, written) gratitude journal. The Smile Epidemic invites people to express in a few words what made them happy or grateful that day, and to take a photo of that message. People can them post the photos in an online community (see www.thesmileepidemic.com) and share via other social media (e.g., facebook).

The One Love Network: Examining Customers’ Satisfaction and Loyalty in a Charity-Based Reward System

The goal of the current proposal is to evaluate the effectiveness of a rewards program that incorporates social responsibility into the product/service purchase. Whereas other reward programs provide the reward to the program member, this program instead allots a part of the purchase to the member to later donate to a charity of their choice (that must be connected with the program). This rewards program is a novel approach to creating customer loyalty and satisfaction.

Effectiveness of a Compassion Fatigue Reduction Workshop in Reducing Compassion Fatigue at Mount Sinai Hospital

Healthcare professionals treating trauma patients can vicariously experience trauma from long term exposure to suffering, resulting in compassion fatigue. The impact of compassion fatigue on the psychological well-being of healthcare workers is detrimental, decreasing patient care and retention of healthcare providers. In an effort to reduce compassion fatigue, Mount Sinai Hospital has implemented a 4-hour workshop for employees to increase professional’s knowledge of compassion fatigue and improve worker’s skills for dealing with stress in the workplace.

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