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Marshall McLuhan's Understanding Media: Extensions of Man urged us to study media's impact on self and society in the same way that Canadian Physician Hans Selye examined the stress theory of illness:
"all technologies [were] extensions of our physical and nervous systems to increase power and speed". These extensions also stressedthe systems which gave rise to them: "When a community develops some extension of itself", he wrote, "it tends to allow all other functions to be altered to accommodate that form". Is there a silver lining to our screen addiction?

Screens can stress us by their physical properties or by their content . Screens can also de-stress us, by extending our access to information and communication. We investigate the tipping point at which screens can become a health hazard.

Cognitive behavioral therapy, art therapy and exercise are well recognized as methods to assist patients suffering from chronic conditions to cope with disability or anxieties that result from illness. Digital games are persuasive, interactive, and customizable. This makes them promising tools not only for researching patient behaviors, but also for deliverying dyadic and guided health interventions and training.

Our research aims to find patient-centred and evidence-based gamified cognitive and emotional interventions that activate brain networks that are affected by drugs used for treatment of chronic pain and mood disorders.


Play the Pain seeks to develop a playful and innovative digital citizen's laboratory to help us put the patients at the heart of  studying chronic pain. Chronic pain affects one of each five Canadians. The severity of and tolerance to chronic pain varies with myriad medical as well as psychosocial factors. This FRQSC-funded project brings patients, scientists, designers and engineers together, to investigate the best ways to empower patients to assist in advancing medial sciences.

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Qualitative data from the lived experiences of the patients, and their creative expressions and actions for coping with chronic pain can guide better care or research towards cure.

Since 2017, we have been conducting a series of participatory research projects involving quantitative and qualitative methods to identify the needs and interests of the senior members of our PERFORM Centre community programs, to identify the types of existing and to-be-developed games that address social and personal interests of older adults. For more information, please refer to our survey study.

More than entertainment, and therapeutic tools, serious games provide an opportunity for intergenerational communication and community building.

The remarkable and rapid growth in wearable sensor technology provides an affordable means to run experiments in an out-of-lab environment under real-life conditions, opening novel research avenues for health researchers. However, open-source and affordable software solutions for integration of data from various wearable technologies are missing. In collaboration with the MCIN, we are working on translating technologies from neuroimaging to create inclusive data formats to facilitate archiving and sharing data from various wearable sensors.​ Read more

Mobile Health (mHealth) encompasses numerous strategies for digitized data collection, preventative monitoring and healthare interventions made possiible by advances in smart mobile communications devices that integrate biosensor and tracking technologies.

"Any new technique or idea or tool, while enabling a new range of activities by the user, pushes aside the older ways of doing things." Eric and Marshall McLuhan, Laws of Media.

Media Spa is born from the  participatory project 'Finding Better Games for Older Adults", over two years of exploring the question of applications of digital games as a means of communicating and offering healthcare for seniors. This work highlighted the prevalence of games as means for personalized relaxation and cognitive self-challenge; as well as a means to connect socially, particularly with the younger generations.

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Media Spa is the technological anchor of Concordia's engAge Living Lab, at the Cavendish Mall. Installed next to an Art Hive, it is an intergenerational point of contact, to evaluate convergences and clashed that arise around VR, interactive games, and artificial intelligence technologies designed for self-care.