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A design-based approach to sleep-onset and insomnia: super-somnolent mentation, the cognitive shuffle and serial diverse imagining

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2014-07-24
Abstract: 

This paper describes an approach to sleep onset (SO) and insomnia that involves a broad, design-based theory of cognition and affect (H-CogAff, Sloman, 2003). It proposes that the SO Control System (SOCS) has somnolent and insomnolent mentation inputs. A disruption of situational awareness and temporal sense making is posited to be somnolent. Perturbance (tertiary emotion) and primary emotions are posited as insomnolent. Many prior deliberate mentation strategies, prescribed as cognitive therapy for insomnia (CT-I), appear to be insufficiently counter-insomnolent (e.g., insufficiently able to compete with insistent motivators) and not inherently somnolent. According to tenets presented here, serial diverse imagining, a deliberate form of mentation involving a cognitive shuffle, is predicted to be super-somnolent (somnolent and counter-insomnolent).  This paper calls for the development of SOCS theories and CT-I, both from the design stance. Particular attention should be given to perturbance and the possibility of super-somnolent mentation.

Effets de l'utilisation d'une application mobile d’imagerie mentale diversifiée sur la qualité subjective du sommeil : résultats préliminaires

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2017-03-01
Abstract: 

L’insomnie est fréquente dans notre société et altère considérablement la qualité de vie. Il est donc crucial de développer des thérapies accessibles. L’imagerie mentale peut diminuer la rumination ainsi que les pensées interférant avec l’endormissement. L’objectif de cette étude pilote était de tester l’efficacité d’une application mobile d’imagerie mentale diversifiée afin de favoriser l’endormissement chez des jeunes ayant de la difficulté à s’endormir plus de deux fois par semaine. Il était prédit que comparativement aux participants utilisant l’appli de comptage à rebours (groupe contrôle), ceux utilisant l’appli mobile d’imagerie mentale (groupe expérimental) montreront une plus grande amélioration de la qualité subjective de sommeil. Vingt-huit sujets ont complété l’étude (groupe contrôle n=13; groupe expérimental : n=15) s’échelonnant sur deux semaines consécutives (semaine prétraitement et semaine d’utilisation de l’appli mobile). Les deux groupes ont montré une diminution significative de l’Index de Sévérité de l’Insomnie  après l’utilisation de l’appli mobile mais celle-ci était plus saillante chez le groupe expérimental (p=0.001) que le groupe contrôle (p=0.01). De plus, seul le groupe expérimental a montré une diminution significative de la latence subjective d’endormissement lors de l’utilisation de l’appli mobile (p=0.04). L’efficacité de l’appli mobile d’imagerie mentale diversifiée est prometteuse mais devra être corroborée par d’autres études.  

Towards an affective information-processing theory of sleep onset and insomnia

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2010-01-10
Abstract: 

We develop a cognitive-affective theory of sleep onset and insomnia (Beaudoin, 2013, 2014). This somnolent information processing theory is design-based (Artificial Intelligence-inspired). We argue that the two-process model of sleep (Borbély, 1982, 2016) is necessary, but insufficient because it ignores pro-somnolent and insomnolent factors, including affective ones. We argue that the phylogenesis of the human sleep-onset control system (SOCS) faced the design challenge of integrating information from deliberative and reflective (executive) processes and various types of emotion. The core SOCS being evolutionarily ancient and modular, it cannot decode executive information; and executive processes couldn’t fully control lower sleep onset mechanisms. Yet some mutual indirect interactions were required. 

Our theory extends and applies the H-CogAff theory of emotions (Sloman, 2003, 2008), while adding sleep onset control mechanisms. We propose that the human SOCS is coarsely sensitive to primary emotions (based on alarms), secondary emotions (involving deliberative, motive management processes), tertiary emotions (perturbance, involving reflective, meta-management processes), moods (Thayer, 2003), interrupt filtering, attributes of motivators currently being managed or suppressed (Beaudoin, 1994), sense-making, and other processes, all of which operate in parallel with each other. Insomnia often involves perturbance, a loss of control of attention.

We will use limerence (Tennov, 1979) and grief (Wright, Sloman, Beaudoin, 1996) as examples of perturbant emotions and other affects that can disrupt sleep. We will discuss how new information processing treatments for insomnia that can be supported by mobile apps like mySleepButton®, such as serial diverse imagining (a form of cognitive shuffling, Beaudoin, Digdon, O’Neill, & Racour, 2016), personalized body scans, massage and other treatments might differentially affect the somnolent mechanisms we propose. We will present some of the new questions, from empirical and designer perspectives, that our theory raises about affect, mental architecture, sleep-onset and insomnia.

Theoretical and Conceptual Approaches to Co-Regulation: A Theoretical Review

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2016-11
Abstract: 

During the last two decades, interpersonal regulation in natural and digital learning environments has gained importance. Ever since the first conceptual and methodological precisions regarding collaborative learning were made, educational psychology has focused its interest on analyzing collective regulation of motivation, cognition, and behavior. Despite the fact that the body of research on co-regulation has grown, emerging epistemological frameworks evidence a lack of conceptual and theoretical clarity. In response to this situation, the authors propose a conceptual approach in order to address interpersonal regulation in four aspects: first, they describe three learning theories which have been used to study co-regulation. Second, the authors recommend a conceptual delimitation of terms regarding the learning theories on social regulation. Third, they highlight diffuse boundaries between theoretical approaches and terms used in the literature on co-regulation. Finally, the authors suggest some challenges the researchers in this field face.

Document type: 
Article
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Análisis del Texto Breve Extraliterario: Elementos para una Aproximación Conceptual al Minitexto

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2015-06
Abstract: 

A theoretical and didactic approach to the mini-text is proposed: a conceptual category for analysis and pedagogic treatment of non-literary-short-texts. The proposal is based on four theoretical paradigms: one related to the bakhtinian approach of enunciation and discourse genres; other circumscribed by text linguistics and discourse studies; a third approach related to flash fiction theory and criticism; and a fourth paradigm that suggests taking advantage of immersion and entertainment features that underlay videogames as mechanisms to promote meaningful learnings.

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Article
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Perturbance: Unifying Research on Emotion, Intrusive Mentation and Other Psychological Phenomena with AI

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2017-01-25
Abstract: 

Intrusive mentation, rumination, obsession, and worry, referred to by Watkins as "repetitive thought" (RT), are of great interest to psychology. This is partly because every typical adult is subject to "RT". In particular, a critical feature of "RT" is also of transdiagnostic significance—for example obsessive compulsive disorder, insomnia and addictions involve unconstructive "RT". We argue that "RT" cannot be understood in isolation of models of whole minds. Researchers must adopt the designer stance in the tradition of Artificial Intelligence augmented by systematic conceptual analysis. This means developing, exploring and implementing cognitive-affective architectures. Empirical research on "RT" needs to be driven by such theories, and theorizing about "RT" needs to consider such data. We draw attention to H-CogAff theory of mind (motive processing, emotion, etc.) and a class of emotions it posits called perturbance (or tertiary emotions), as a foundation for the research programme we advocate. Briefly, a perturbance is a mental state in which motivators tend to disrupt executive processes. We argue that grief, limerence (the attraction phase of romantic love) and a host of other psychological phenomena involving "RT" should be conceptualized in terms of perturbance and related design-based constructs. We call for new taxonomies of "RT" in terms of information processing architectures such as H-CogAff. We claim general theories of emotion also need to recognize perturbance and other architecture-based aspects of emotion. Meanwhile "cognitive" architectures need to consider requirements of autonomous agency, leading to cognitive affective architectures.

Document type: 
Article

Serial diverse imagining task: A new remedy for bedtime complaints of worrying and other sleep-disruptive mental activity

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2016-03-17
Abstract: 

Introduction: A racing mind, worries, and uncontrollable thoughts are common bedtime complaints among poor sleepers. Beaudoin created a Serial Diverse Imagining task (SDIT) that can be used at bedtime to divert attention away from sleep interfering thoughts, An app randomly presents recordings of relatively concrete words one at a time with an 8-second interval between recordings during which the person creates and maintains a mental image of the word until the next recording prompts the next image and so on. Our study is an experimental test of SDIT compared to the standard treatment of Structured Problem-solving (SP) and to the combination of both treatments. A key feature of SP is that it must be done earlier than bedtime and requires about 15 minutes to do it.  SDIT, which is done at bedtime, does not have those constraints. 

Method: 154 university students (137 female) who complained of excessive cognitive pre-sleep arousal were randomly assigned to receive SDIT, SP, or both.  At baseline, they completed Pre-Sleep Arousal Scale (Somatic and Cognitive), Sleep Quality Scale, Glasgow Sleep Effort Scale and Sleep Hygiene Index.  Depending on the measure, participants redid it one week and/or one month after starting the intervention.  (They also completed sleep diaries and appraisals of the interventions, which are omitted due to space).

Results: Repeated measures ANOVAs indicated that cognitive and somatic pre-sleep arousal , sleep effort, and sleep quality improved significantly relative to baseline (p  < .001; Partial η2 = .43 to .71) even though sleep hygiene worsened ( p  < .001; Partial η2 =  .23). The latter finding is not unexpected because the baseline was done at the start of the academic term before the onset of academic pressures. The fact that we found sleep and arousal improvements in this context are notable.

Conclusion: Beaudoin’s Serial Diverse  Imagining Task (SDIT) was as effective as Structured Problem-Solving (SP) in reducing pre-sleep arousal, sleep effort, and poor sleep quality.  One advantage of SDIT is that it can be done at bedtime, unlike SP. 

After 60 Years, Do The Arguments For K-12 Vouchers Still Hold?

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2016-04-15
Abstract: 

In 1955, Milton Friedman authored a foundational paper proposing a shift in funding and governance mechanisms for public K-12   schools, suggesting that parents be awarded tuition vouchers that they could use to pay for private sector education services for their children, rather than relying   on   government   provided   neighborhood   schools.   Friedman theorized three cases in which such a system might fail, requiring greater involvement of the government in the education system: the presence of a natural monopoly; substantial neighborhood effects; and a breakdown in free exchange. This article examines these concerns by applying more than 25 years of school choice research in an attempt to answer the question, “After 60 years, do the arguments for K-12 vouchers still hold?” Findings cited in this article suggest that Friedman was correct to be concerned about possible deleterious effects that may arise from a privatized system.

Document type: 
Article