Jason Kahn: Helping Children Control Their Emotions via Neurofeedback Games

Tue, June 11, 6:30pm – 9:00pm



Many young children have clinical levels of anger and aggression that lead to problems with their families, peers, and teachers. The treatments available have been psychotherapy and or psychopharmacological medications. These approaches can be effective, but have considerable limitations.

Drawing from recent findings in neuroscience and constructivist principles (that is,learners construct meaning from experience individually, and learning derives from being actively engaged in experience), it is possible to design new technology that can help emotionally dysregulated children develop their skills in emotional self-regulation.

We have been developing video games to help these children by using active biofeedback, which requires simultaneous attention and relaxation. In pilot studies in both outpatient and inpatient settings, we have found that using our video game leads to reduced symptoms of anger in children. We have started developing toys that use the principles derived from these findings.


Jason Kahn is a scientist at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

He completed his PhD from Tufts University in Education in 2010 and before that completed an undergraduate degree from Tufts in Human Factors Engineering. He is interested in the intersection of developmental psychology, technology, learning, and patient care, and is working on new tools to engage with patients in developmentally appropriate and therapeutic ways. At BCH, this has taken the form of several projects ranging from online patient monitoring to developing toys to aid in the treatment of emotionally dysregulated children. Jason is interested in developing and researching tools that help children better understand themselves and the world around them.

Evening Schedule

  • 6:30 – 7:00 Networking over pizza and beverages
  • 7:00 – 8:30 Meeting
  • 8:30 – 9:00 CHI Dessert and more networking!

CHI Desserts


Vitamin T is our dessert sponsor this month!

If you can provide a ride, or if you need one, check out GoLoco, a free ride-sharing connector service: http://goloco.org/groups/5716.