Project Overview

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 waitlist 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 refined 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 waitlist 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).


  • 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. Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, Springer (in press).
  • Antle, A.N., Chesick, L. and McLaren, E.S. (2018) Opening up the design space of neurofeedback brain computer interfaces for children: Five strong conceptsACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (ToCHI), 24(6), 38. [Description of design principles for Mind-Full App series]
  • Antle, A.N. (2017)  Forum Universal Interactions: The ethics of doing research with vulnerable populations. ACM Interactions, November + December, 2017, 74-77. [Based on Keynote at ACM IDC 2017, Stanford, USA]
  • 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. [Field study results at post-test Nepal]
  • Antle, A.N. and Bevans, A. (2012) Creative design: Exploring value propositions with urban nepalese children. InProceedings of Advances in Computer Entertainment (ACE'12), Springer, (Kathmandu, Nepal, November 3-6), 465-468. [Decribes a workshop that was run in Kathmandu, and extended to interviews in Pokhara that led to the idea for this project]
  • Antle, A.N., Chesick, L., Sridharan, S.K. and Levisohn, A. (2016) East meets west: A Mind-Full brain computer interface for children living in poverty. Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, (under review) [preprint available on request | full field study results Nepal]
  • Antle, A.N., Chesick, L., McLaren, E. (2017) Mind-Full brain-computer self-regulation games: Do they help children overcome anxiety and attentional challenges at school? (in preparation) [full study results Burnaby, Canada]

Media and Press

Current Team

  • Alissa N. Antle: Research, Project and Design Lead
  • Leslie Chesick, Nepal House Society and UBC Counselling Services, Trauma Therapist
  • Elgin-Skye McLaren, Project Manager
  • Shubhra Sarker, Programming

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

  • Perry Tan, System Programming
  • Fan Lin, Art
  • Saba Nowroozi: Interaction Design
  • Rachael Eckersley (FCAT Undergraduate Research Award): Art
  • Joseph Leung: Programming
  • Nathan Waddington: Android-Neurosky Programming