Nancie Rouleau, Ph.D.
Full Professor, School of Psychology, Laval University (Quebec, Canada)
Director, MANDALAB (Mindfulness AND Attention LAB)
Research Associate, Dept Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Harvard University (Boston, USA)
Mindfulness to treat attention disorders and anxiety
Dr. Nancie Rouleau's research focuses on attention disorders, and aims to develop and validate new approaches to treatment. Dr. Rouleau’s team studies mindfulness, which is a training to intentionally focus one's attention on the present experience - without attempting to modify it, which is emerging as a new way of helping people with cognitive or attention disorders to overcome these disorders. This training is done using different activities, including meditation and yoga.
The first part of Dr. Rouleau's research aims to characterize cognitive disorders in ADHD and to study their evolution over time as well as their relationship with the clinical symptoms of ADHD.
The second component of MANDALAB's research focuses on mindfulness interventions for children with ADHD and their families. Dr. Rouleau and her team have developed a mindfulness program for children with attention disorders, with or without hyperactivity, called the PEACE (Attention and Compassion Behavior Training Program for children - Programme d’Entraînement de l’Attention et de la Compassion chez l’Enfant). She recently presented the preliminary results of a first group that followed the PEACE program, which showed a significant improvement in the attention and executive functions of the participants, among others.
A final research component involves the implementation of mindfulness interventions in schools. Data in the literature shows that all children can benefit from these interventions, even in the absence of attention disorders. Research has indeed demonstrated the effectiveness of mindfulness to counter various psychological disorders (anxiety, depression), and to increase physical health and psychological well-being.
The study of mindfulness is therefore a promising new approach to promote the cognitive, physical and mental health of children and adolescents.
Nancie Rouleau's team
CERVO Brain Research Center, 2601 Chemin de la Canardière