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).

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


Alissa N. Antle, Elgin Skye McLaren, Holly Fiedler, and Naomi Johnson. 2019. Design for mental health: How socio-technological processes mediate outcome measures in a field study of a wearable anxiety app. In Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction (TEI ’19). ACM Press, 87-96.

Alissa N. Antle, Elgin-Skye McLaren, Holly Fiedler, and Naomi Johnson. 2019. Evaluating the impact of a mobile neurofeedback app for young children at school and home. In Proceedings of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’19) . ACM, Paper No. 36.

Alissa N. Antle, Chesick, Leslie Chesick, Srilekha Kirshnamachari Sridharan, and Emily Cramer. 2018. East meets west: A mobile brain-computer system that helps children living in poverty learn to self-regulate. Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, Springer 22, 4 (August 2018), 839-866.

Alissa N. Antle, Leslie Chesick, and Elgin-Skye Mclaren. 2018. Opening up the Design Space of Neurofeedback Brain--Computer Interfaces for Children. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (TOCHI). ACM, 24, 6, Article 38 (Jan. 2018). [Impact Factor 3.2]

Alissa, N. Antle. 2017. Forum Universal Interactions: The ethics of doing research with vulnerable populations. Interactions. ACM 24, 6 ( November + December, 2017), 74-77.

Srilekha K Sridharan. 2017. Learning to Relax and Attend: Investigating Methods to Analyze Neurofeedback Data from Nepalese Children’s Mind-Full Sessions. Master's thesis. Simon Fraser University, Surrey, Canada.

Alissa N. Antle. 2017. Crazy Like Us – Design for Vulnerable Populations. Video of Keynote presentation delivered at ACM SIGCHI International Conference on Interaction Design for Children (IDC 2017) Stanford University, USA, June 28, 2017.

Alissa N. Antle. 2017. Why Self-Regulation May be More Important than Literacy. Video of TEDxSFU presentation delivered at Vancouver Playhouse, November 5, 2016.

Alissa N. Antle. 2017. Interview with Sheryl MacKay and Jen Moss on Mind-Full App Series. CBC North By Northwest, November 12, 2017

Alissa N. Antle, Leslie Chesick, Aaron Levisohn, Srilekha Kirshnamachari Sridharan, and Perry Tan. 2015. Using neurofeedback to teach self-regulation to children living in poverty. In Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children(IDC’15). ACM, 119-128.

Alissa N. Antle. 2015. Interview with Jana Lynne White on Mind-Full App. Roundhouse Radio Home Show, October 29 2015.

Alissa N. Antle. 2015. Television Segment on Mind-Full App [@4:30]. City TV, Breakfast Television Oct 27 2015.

Alissa Antle’s Groundbreaking Research Earns Royal Society Nod. News Article, SFU News, October 26, 2015.

Alissa, N. Antle and Allen Bevans. 2012. Creative design: Exploring value propositions with urban Nepalese children. In International Conference on Advances in Computer Entertainment Technology. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 465-468.