Welcome to the Simulation, Affect, Innovation, Learning, and Surgery Lab!


Our research, directed by Dr. Jason M. Harley, aims to enhance surgical and medical education and support health care workers by reducing adverse events and inefficiencies, especially those associated with the incidence of undesirable and unregulated emotions and burnout. We apply psychological and educational theories using interdisciplinary research methods and leverage advanced technologies, including augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI), to accomplish these aims. Our interdisciplinary research draws on mixed methods (quantitative and qualitative) that include both objective (e.g., skin conductance, facial recognition software, eyetracking) and subjective (self-report instruments, semi-structured interviews) measures of emotion and cognition that help us assess a variety of surgical and medical competencies.

Research Projects:

Currently, they are directing the following research projects in their SAILS Lab, many funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC):

  1. Developing and testing public education tools to enhance COVID-19 health and media literacy with a special focus on the role of emotion regulation in promoting public understanding and adaptive health behaviour
  2. Implementing and evaluating virtual simulation technology within medical and nursing students’ training at McGill. Specifically, its (a) accessibility and usability, (b) influence on students' expectations to succeed in their education and future-related emotions (e.g., hope), and (c) educational quality.
  3. Developing an instructional intervention to provide students with information about harassment, tips for how to deal with it, and practice implementing harassment combatting strategies during a standardized simulation. The project also aims to evaluate the effectiveness of this educational intervention to increase medical students’ (a) ability and (b) motivation to effectively combat harassment.

About Us


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