Our work is constantly evolving.
Take a look at our current projects to learn more about what we do, and how you might be able to help.
Neuropsychological predictors of recovery
Prospective Memory after an ABI
Mood Disorders in ABI
Mood disorders such as anxiety and depression are very common following an acquired brain injury (ABI) and potentially negatively affect neuropsychological and psychosocial outcomes post-injury. However, the risk factors for the development of mood disturbance in adults with ABI and predicting recovery remain poorly understood, and a better understanding of these factors is important given the implications for prognosis, treatment and rehabilitation planning. Additionally, our team is interested in determining whether other factors, such as poor sleep, fatigue or comorbid conditions such as ADHD, affect neurocognitive and other functional outcomes in individuals with ABI.
Emotion Regulation after an ABI
A common debilitating consequence of acquired brain injury (ABI) is difficulty in the area of emotion regulation (ER; any attempt at influencing the way emotions are experienced and expressed). Difficulties in ER have been found to be among the most debilitating consequences of an ABI with a negative impact in the interpersonal domain, return to work/study, overall poor quality of life, and psychological difficulties. There are several sub-areas within ER that need research attention, particularly in the ABI area. We are interested in further exploring: 1)- Assessment of ER after an ABI. We are exploring the psychometric properties of scales used to assess ER in ABI, including the assessment of regulation of positive and negative emotions in the context of recovery; 2)-Intervention for emotion dysregulation after an ABI. We are currently piloting a group therapy for ER for people with an ABI and are interested in continuing this research; 3)- Emotion dysregulation predicting rehabilitation. This area examines the predictive value of difficulties in ER in functional outcomes after an ABI.
Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is associated with a range of physical, cognitive, emotional and functional outcomes. Most individuals who sustain a mTBI are expected to recover within two weeks of injury; however, a small proportion (around 10-20%) continue to report post-concussional symptoms. The development of neuropsychological impairments following mTBI continues to be controversial, with further research needed to explore which factors are associated with better outcomes. The relative contribution of demographic and other factors, such as pre-morbid psychiatric history, as well as current mood and sleep disturbance, is also worthy of further research.
Alexithymia after an ABI
Alexithymia (difficulties identifying feelings and describing feelings emotions) has been found to have a causal and/or maintaining role in psychopathology, but it has not been studied much in the ABI area. We are interested in studying alexithymia after an ABI; its assessment, prevalence, and characteristics, as well as its potential influence in functional recovery.
Disruption to executive functions following acquired brain injury
Research to date has increasingly focused on the role that both ‘cold’ and ‘hot’ executive functions have in influencing functional outcomes following acquired brain injury (ABI). This distinction provides a useful way of identifying the range of executive deficits that underlie brain injuries. However, this approach also explains why traditional ‘lab’ tests of executive abilities lack ecological validity and do not adequately assess the real-life difficulties often experienced by individuals with acquired brain injuries. Additionally, the situation is compounded because valid assessment measures of ‘hot’ executive functioning are lacking, further limiting our understanding of developmental trajectories following ABI. Moreover, our research team is interested in the relationship between cold and hot executive functions and the relative contribution of other factors to cognitive abilities (such as level of self-awareness and apathy).
Apathy and ABI
Apathy is a syndrome characterized by diminished motivation and purposeful behaviours and is associated negatively with activities of daily living (ADL) after an ABI. We want to study apathy as a consequence of an ABI, so we can improve neuropsychological interventions.
Empathy and ABI
Empathy (the ability to infer and share others’ affective states) has been found to be significantly affected after an ABI. This brings difficulties in interpersonal relationships across family, work and functioning in the community. Despite this, there is very little research on empathy post ABI. We are researching empathy in ABI in the areas of assessment, prevalence, its association with emotion regulation and its impact on functional recovery.