Change Your Mind, Change the World

Center for Healthy Minds

University of Wisconsin–Madison
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FAQs

We get a lot of questions. Here are answers to our most popular.

​Tools for Scientists

Open-source ideas, research tools, tasks and data shared by our researchers and scholars

Data Analysis

Fmripower Tool

FMRIpower was introduced in a 2007 OHBM Poster and is based on the power analysis technique described by Jeanette Mumford and Thomas Nichols. This software is intended for use in study design, such as in the preparation of a grant application. It is not statistically appropriate to use a power analysis to assess the power of a study that has already taken place, but it can be used as a guide for planning future studies

Access the tool on Center Associate Scientist Jeanette Mumford's website.

Libraries for Reading BIOPAC Files

These utilities are for reading the files produced by BIOPAC’s AcqKnowledge software. Much of the information is based on Application Note 156 from BIOPAC; however, newer file formats were decoded by John Ollinger and Nate Vack.

This library is mostly concerned with getting the user the data, and less so with interpreting UI-related header values.

Learn more about this tool from Center "Hacker-in-Chief," Nate Vack.

Optimus

Optimus is a set of libraries designed to process behavioral data for use in statistical analysis packages. Think of it as the ultimate scriptable spreadsheet.

Currently, it’s geared towards processing files generated by E-Prime, but it works with anything that produces spreadsheet-like data.

Learn more about this tool, via Nate Vack.

Scatterize

Scatterize lets you upload a CSV file, plot the data, and in your browser in real-time, exclude outlier points and include nuisance variables. Every variation of your plot gives you a distinct URL, so you can prepare your chart and send it to a colleague.

Learn more and access the tool, also via Nate Vack.


Tips and Resources

MumfordBrainStats

Watch video tutorials from Associate Scientist Jeanette Mumford on common fMRI data and statistics conundrums. You can also join her Facebook group dedicated to brain statistics.

Video Games

Crystals of Kaydor

A team of researchers and game designers, led by Richard Davidson and Center Collaborator Constance Steinkuehler, developed the video game Crystals of Kaydor from the ground up aimed at teaching children pro-social behaviors, including recognizing others’ emotions.

Learn more and watch a demo.

Tenacity

Tenacity is a meditation app designed to promote mental well-being through breath counting. In the game, the focus is on learning practices of well-being and self-regulation. Users relax and focus their breathing as they explore Greek ruins, Egyptian dunes and staircases that ascend into the skies.

Study Games

Redistribution Game

Center scientists developed a redistribution game to study the impact of compassion training. The game requires hosting on a separate server and is not being actively updated.

Access the Redistribution Game.



Well-Being Interventions

Breath-Counting Task

Center researchers developed an online breath counting practice that can be used to train mindfulness. Our findings suggest that mindfulness, as measured through breath counting, is associated with more self-awareness, less mind wandering, better mood and more freedom from entrapping emotions.

Note: Turn on your audio to use this tool.

See the tool, courtesy of Daniel Levinson, Nate Vack and Sonam Kindy.

Compassion Meditation Training Audio Files

Compassion is the feeling of caring for and wanting to help others who are suffering. The following audio files and scripts were created as part of a study into the effectiveness of compassion meditation conducted by principal investigator Helen Weng with Drew Fox, Alex Shackman, Diane Stodola, Jessica Kirkland Caldwell, Matt Olson, Greg Rogers and Richard Davidson.

Cognitive Reappraisal Training

Cognitive reappraisal is learning to re-interpret the meaning of situations to decrease negative emotions and stress. This 30-minute reappraisal training was used as a control intervention for compassion meditation and teaches three new ways of looking at situations: understanding from another person’s perspective, adopting a new perspective yourself and looking at the situation as if a year had gone by. This training is based on cognitive-behavioral therapy, which has been shown to be an effective treatment for conditions such as depression and anxiety.