Attention Quotient Psychology Science

Introducing Dr. Shaun Nanavati, Co-Founder & Chief Science Officer of AQ

Dr. Shaun Nanavati is a neuroscience researcher, professor, and clinician with an interest in Eastern philosophy. He is on the faculty at the Nalanda Institute and previously taught Cognitive Science at CUNY. His research interest is in Mindfulness and its impact on the autonomic nervous system, with special emphasis on the parasympathetic nervous system. Shaun has graduate degrees in both the Eastern and Western inner sciences: an MA in Comparative World Religion at Columbia University; and an MA, Research Master’s, at New School for Social Research. He has published papers and given presentations on visual perception, neuroscience of yoga, and Mindfulness meditation. Linkedin.

Shaun & Mindwell Labs’ Mission:

The underlying question that led to the creation of the AQ™ app was this – if there is no objective measure of attention, how can the diagnosis be scientific?

During Shaun’s clinical work with children, he realized a child does not need to be interviewed or even spoken to in order to receive a diagnosis of AD/HD. A psychologist can speak just to the child’s parent or teacher – without ever seeing the child – to give a diagnosis and medication.

He also noticed a significant difference in the care provided to children in low-income versus high-income areas. Children in low-income and primarily minority communities are much more likely to receive stronger medications to control their behavior and attention, while those in higher socio-economic communities are likely to be instead provided targeted educational intervention.

Unfortunately, American psychology is better at containing and controlling behavior instead of liberating people from mental suffering. All of this led Shaun and Mindwell Labs to create the AQ™ app.

With AQ™, we are building a standardized global metric on attention. By taking physiological variables – such as heart rate, respiration, and autonomic markers – from people all over the world, AQ™ is essentially creating the world’s first truly global psychology. Since AQ™ is calculated automatically without any individual’s intervention, it is free of linguistic influences and cultural biases which are inherent in existing measures. Additionally, AQ™ is a global metric that updates in real-time, so it is always in synch with any social, cultural, or economic changes in our society that may impact people’s behavior. The data tables in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (the psychologist’s “Bible”, by which an individual’s behavior is or is not considered “normal”) update once every ten years.

Click here to learn about the science behind AQ™.

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