My goals involve translating research to real-world applications that assist individuals with special needs, using teaching, counseling, technology and research-proven methods that facilitate accessible learning.
In my teaching I focus on catering to multiple learning modes and supporting students of varying needs. I run a company called EmotePlay Apps, and our mandate is to support social development using technology. We have created and developed a research-based app entitled “Big Break: The Acting Game”, available in the Apple App Store, which supports emotion learning through acting and singing, targeted at children with autism.
Using physiological techniques as well as EEG and fMRI, my research examines the neural and peripheral underpinnings of emotional contagion, emotional understanding, and memory. Under this framework I explore the ways that music can support communication, movement, and ultimately independence in patient populations. I am interested in individual differences in action simulation and its role in understanding the intentions and emotions of others, and the use of movement training to enhance empathy and expression. I have worked with several special needs groups including individuals with brain damage, depression, autism, Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington’s disease, as well as with healthy individuals of all ages, on projects involving music, emotional understanding, movement, and memory. I enjoy employing varied statistical methodologies.