Here are my favorite picks of all time classic Star Wars quotes.  Read on.  It’s a great excuse to take a break and have a laugh.  I hope these quotes can shine a little light on the galaxy-sized adventure—- that is parenting.

  1. “Don’t center on your anxiety. Keep your concentration here and now where it belongs.”
  2.  “The ability to speak does not make you intelligent.”
  3.  “There’s always a bigger fish.”
  4. “Whenever you gamble, my friend, eventually you’ll lose.”
  5.  “You can’t stop change any more than you can stop the suns from setting”
  6. “Watch yourself. This place can be a little rough.”
  7. “I’m not afraid.” “You will be.”
  8. “I have a bad feeling about this.”
  9. “Never tell me the odds!”
  10.  “Well, you said you wanted to be around when I made a mistake.”
  11.  “Who’s the more foolish; the fool, or the fool who follows him?”
  12.  “Sorry about the mess.”
  13.  “Ready are you? What know you of ready?
  14.  “No reward is worth this.”
  15.  “Ugh. And I thought they smelled bad on the outside.”
  16. “So what I told you was true… from a certain point of view.”
  17. “In my experience, there’s no such thing as luck.”
  18. “Don’t get cocky.”
  19.  “Sorry about the mess.”
  20. “Stay on target.”

Scientists at UCSF looking at Video Games to treat serious symptoms of depression .

Creating video games to improve mental health

Scientists hope video games give a boost to mental health

 Photo: Christopher T. Fong, The Chronicle;

The game is played on a tablet, and it looks a lot like any of hundreds of apps that can be downloaded for some mindless entertainment during an afternoon commute on BART.

 Here’s what sets the game apart: It was designed by scientists at UCSF looking for a new way to treat serious symptoms of depression.

“We’re trying to see whether we can get the same effects with the game as with therapy,” said Patricia Arean, a clinical psychologist at UCSF who is studying the potential mental health benefits of video game play in older adults.

Arean is joining the burgeoning field of research into the use of video games as tools for promoting brain health. Video games undoubtedly have some kind of effect on our brains, but harnessing the technology and forcing a lasting – and positive – change is the challenge.

Looking for answers

So far, what little evidence does exist that video games can have a measurable impact on brain activity has been gathered almost entirely on healthy subjects. But in small clinical trials – like Arean’s study of depression in older adults – the effects of games on both healthy and unhealthy people are being studied to find out whether they’re useful in treating mental illness, such as autism, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Some neuroscientists say video games may also strengthen neural networks, potentially preventing or slowing down the brain deterioration associated with old age or diseases like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.

“We’re in the infancy of this idea that entertaining and gaming stuff can be useful for you,” said Joaquin Anguera, a UCSF neuroscientist who designs cognitive training games, including the one Arean is testing with patients.


“Every video game … can have some benefits and it can have some hindrances, but it depends on what you’re looking for,” Anguera said. “There’s no doubt if I played ‘Call of Duty’ for 12 hours, something’s going to be different about me. But good or bad, it depends on what you’re looking for – I may be more anxious, but able to focus my attention better.

“It becomes our duty to show that the games work.”

Technology for health is taking off with video game developers, as evidenced by the wide variety of games marketed to improve memory, for example, or fight off stress or anxiety. These games are almost always untested and unproven, at least to modern scientific standards.


This week, several hundred video game developers will meet at the Metreon for a conference on “neuro-gaming,” which refers to the idea that games can improve neurological health. But neuro-gaming also refers to the concept that brain research – advances in understanding how vision works or how the brain controls movement, for starters – can be used to improve game play.

The video game developers don’t necessarily care – yet – whether games are proved to have health benefits, said Zack Lynch, producer of the NeuroGaming 2014 conference. But their investment in the technology is going to be critical to making games that have practical health benefits, he said.

“The entertainment industry is going to be the driver once they open up to the possibility,” Lynch said. “Right now … there’s no one in the gaming industry coming at it from the neuro-perspective. If this stuff is going to get traction, if we’re really going to get innovation on the therapeutic side, we’ve got to make neuro-gaming a profitable segment for the gaming industry.”

Scientists at UCSF’s new Neuroscape lab already are working with video game developers to help design games that are fun and engaging – and marketable. The lab, which opened in March at the Mission Bay campus, was created to encourage scientists to push brain discoveries into practical prevention and treatment tools for patients.

“My personal goal is to build tools so the brain can become more resilient,” said Dr. Adam Gazzaley, director of the UCSF Neuroscience Imaging Center and head of the Neuroscape lab.

Evidence of benefits

Last fall, a team led by Gazzaley published what is thought to be the first research paper identifying cognitive improvements after a group of study participants played a simple video game. The improvements lasted for months even after the participants stopped playing.

“I don’t approach any of these games as cures for diseases,” Gazzaley said. “But if you have a stronger brain, will the impact of disease lessen? Presumably, it will.”

Gazzaley believes that the more immersive the game experience – the more people use their senses to play – the more profound the effects on the brain.

Even a simple game – like the video game Gazzaley developed, in which players drive a car down a highway and try to avoid obstructions – can result in measurable changes to brain activity and cognitive ability. A game that slips players into a virtual-reality-type environment – so that they experience only the game, to the exclusion of all other sensations of sound, sight and touch – could have even stronger, longer-lasting effects, Gazzaley said.

But that remains to be seen. For now, simplicity still reigns in neuro-game development.

It was Gazzaley’s research that led to Arean’s study on depression. Gazzaley’s study found that playing his driving game activated a pathway in the brain that’s associated with “executive functioning” – the ability to make decisions and stay focused. Gazzaley showed this by performing brain imaging scans on people before and after they played.

Curbing distraction

That same pathway is thought to be weakened in people with a certain kind of depression. These patients, Arean said, will often struggle with problem solving – from handling family disagreements to managing household chores – because they become distracted by negative thoughts.

So Anguera, who worked with Gazzaley on the driving game, designed the new game involving the alien and the ice float. He hopes it will activate that decision-making neural pathway.

In traditional talk therapy, patients identify specific problems that the depression is preventing them from tackling, and with a trained therapist, come up with detailed solutions to keep them focused and on task.

The idea behind the video game is that patients can accomplish similar goals by playing for 20 minutes a day and strengthening the neural network that blocks distraction.

“The game gets at improving people’s attention while they’re multitasking,” Arean said. “It’s similar to problem-solving therapy, getting people to focus on a goal and make a plan. But in this case, the plan you’re working on is getting a little alien on a computer screen to navigate through a waterway while tapping on certain colors of fish.”

Arean is recruiting people ages 60 and older with depression to play this game, and she will compare their treatment outcome with people who undergo more traditional talk therapy. She hopes to see not just improvements in their mood and behavior, but also signs of increased activity in the brain networks that keep them from being distracted by negative thoughts.

Someday, she said, video games could help bolster traditional talk therapy, making it more effective. Or it could replace the therapy altogether for some patients. It could also help patients who don’t have access to traditional therapy – who live too far away or can’t afford it, for example – but can download a game onto their smartphone.

“If we could get the treatments into people’s hands so they can just download it on an iPad or a phone, that’s the ultimate goal for researchers like me,” Arean said. “The results so far have been sort of mixed. But we’re getting better at understanding how these games work.”

For more information on the UCSF study of depression and video game play, along with other studies on digital technology and brain health:

Erin Allday is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. E-mail:



private eye video

The Private Eye game is a great example of a game designed for the Oculus rift that provides the opportunity for an optimal immersion experience that could stimulate “a Relaxation Response” in some users.  The avatar’s stationary seated body maps nearly directly on to the user’s body.  This is also a unique challenging find-the-object genre.

Research establishes that immersion with head gear can reduce ADHD symptoms in children.



jo virtual goggles


Pop-Jordanova and Gucev (2010) found that game-based biofeedback may be useful for stress meditation for children. In a study of the efficacy of a computer-based active feedback game called The Journey to Wild Divine, (Bell, 2003) demonstrated that 24 children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) were able to manipulate their heart rate using breathing techniques taught during the game. The experimental group revealed significant reductions in ADHD symptoms.  Researchers also noted that children took great interest in the study and were stimulated and motivated by the use of technology and video game format.

Evolution of Cybertherapy in Psychology

Evolution of Cybertherapy in Psychology

Cybertherapy is another designation for the emerging field of computer-supported rehabilitation that regroups techniques exploring possibilities offered by multimedia systems and virtual reality to provide better and more flexible therapies.  Its application domain in health care covers psychology, neuroscience and medicine.   After initial research, psychologists began to catch a glimpse of the possibilities of development of this medium of communication in the context of clinical psychology. 

David et al. (2008) concluded that, despite advances made by psychotherapy, a segment of patients proved non-responsive to conventional interventions, prompting professionals in the field to search for new treatments.  “One such direction has been the integration of new technological developments (e.g., computer technology) into the therapeutic process” (p. 446). 



Hi There. 

This is my blog.   Through my research and practice I evaluate video game user experience.  I focus on the optimal FLOW experience of the gamer.   I seek to establish the parallel experience of mindfulness meditation and video game playing.  I practice psychology in A “Non-Traditional” practice using technology.  

I am a graduate of University of California at Berkeley (GO BEARS !), USC (GO TROJANS) and Ryokan College.   I am also addicted to YOGA and Horse Back Riding.   I live in Los Angeles with my inspiring son Jonah.

My doctoral research dissertation specifically focused on the analysis of the utilization of game-based interactive environments as a treatment modality in the field of behavioral psychology, as it pertains to maladaptive stress response and stress recovery.

Similarities between video game playing and mindfulness can be identified. Both activities are characterized by emphasizing attention and presence. 

“Reproducible technology-enhanced meditation sessions are increasingly being incorporated into therapeutic programs to meet the needs of patients seeking mental health care with safe and effective symptomatic relief of stress-related symptoms…” (Moller & Bal, 2013, p. 35).  Virtual reality and computerized therapy interventions have been utilized in newer therapies of the so called “third wave.”   This term has been used by Steven Hayes (2004) to describe mindfulness and acceptance-oriented cognitive behavioral therapies that have already been included in practical work in earlier years. 

For Consultation:

Dr. Shari Aarons  310-991-4444