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Queen's University

Current Studies 

Action-Based Cognitive Remediation

This study is funded by a "Healthy Minds Canada - Pfizer Canada- Sun Life Mutual" award and is aimed at examining the effectiveness of our newly developed form of cognitive remediation, which relies heavily on procedural learning and "everyday neuroplasticity" through activity scheduling and behavioural experiments that encourage engagement in more cognitively complex tasks. It is being conducted in collaboration with the Frontenac Community Mental Health Centre.

Short-Term Executive Functioning Training

In this project, we are examining neurophysiological changes following an intensive, short-term trial of cognitive activation for individuals with mood or psychotic disorders.

    STEPS: Structured Therapy to Enhance Purposeful Speech

    This treatment project is being led by Katherine Holshausen in the CPD Lab. She is using an operant conditioning paradigm to increase the goal-directedness of speech of by inpatients with schizophrenia.

    Relevant Publications:

    Beyond Stigma

     Several of our studies are focused on applying more rigorous experimental design and objective assessment of biobehavioural responses to the characteristics of severe mental illness in order to better understand what constitutes stigma and what are predictable responses to atypical behaviours. To date, we have used EEG, behavioural coding, and covert assessments of threat perception.

    Relevant Publications:
    Best M & Bowie CR. Neurophysiological responses to schizophrenia-associated communication abnormalities. Schizophrenia Research, In Press

      Speech Perception and Communication in Individuals with Auditory Hallucinations

      In this study, a collaboration with Dr. Kevin Munhall in the Psychology Department at Queen's University, we are measuring receptive and productive speech mechanism differences as a function of auditory hallucination status.

      Relevant Publications:

      Chronic Psychiatric Disorders: Linking Genes to Functional Disability

       This study, led by Ann Pulver, ScD, at John’s Hopkins University and funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, examines the genetic correlates of cognitive and functional deficits in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

      Relevant Publications:

        Remote Cognitive Remediation

         We and other clinician scientists have demonstrated the efficacy and effectiveness of cognitive remediation for improving neurocognition and everyday functioning for those with chronic mental illnesses. Unfortunately, this treatment is not widely available or covered by most health care plans.  We are trying to change that.  We have a series of studies where we are using internet-based drills and practice along with asynchronous therapist communication through blogs and online videos.

        Relevant Publications:

        Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000