What is MYRIAD Cognition?
MYRIAD Cognition investigates whether social and emotional learning (SEL) programmes can help improve resilience and executive control (e.g. planning, decision-making and multitasking) in adolescents. The study will be conducted by researchers at the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience and the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge, in partnership with research groups at the University of Oxford, University of Exeter and King’s College London. You can watch Sarah-Jayne Blakemore’s TED talk, “The mysterious workings of the adolescent brain” here.
What are the aims of MYRIAD Cognition?
This study compares the effectiveness of two different school-based SEL curricula. The first is .b (dot-be), a programme that teaches mindfulness skills. The second is a psychological education programme that teachers cognitive and social skills. Both are evidence-based interventions: research studies have shown that both interventions can develop and improve a number of skills critical to young people’s wellbeing, such as emotional resilience, problem-solving and planning.
Our primary aim is to investigate the effects of mindfulness (compared with the other SEL programme) on cognitive and psychological processes in young people aged 11-16. Our second aim is to assess whether mindfulness training improves resilience and wellbeing in young people to a greater extent than other SEL programmes.
The results of this study will contribute to a growing evidence base that seeks to understand how school-based SEL interventions impact upon young people’s mental wellbeing and resilience.
How will it work?
We are recruiting Year 7 – 11 students from schools in or around London and Cambridge. Students will be randomly assigned to either the .b curriculum or the control SEL curriculum. They will then attend a 60 minute session of their assigned intervention once a week for eight weeks, in small groups (10-13 students). Additionally, students will be asked to complete a set of questionnaires and computer tasks that will measure skills related to resilience and cognitive control. They will complete these tasks once before and once after the intervention, and will be compensated for their time.
Would you like to get involved?
We are looking to partner with schools in and around London or Cambridge that have a group, or several groups, of students (Years 7 – 11) who would like to participate in our study. Students will be randomly assigned to either the .b intervention or the SEL intervention. The intervention and data collection sessions will be scheduled at a time that suits the school and the students, depending upon teacher availability. We aim to be as flexible as possible with scheduling to fit in with school timetables.
If you are interested in this study and would like to learn more about it, please get in contact with us:
MYRIAD Cognition contact details
UCL (London-based schools)
Tel: 020 7679 5498
MRC CBU (Cambridge-based schools)
Tel: 01223 273 756