Bear Spot Foundation Research

In addition to it's work with children and young adults at the farm, the Foundation also supports research to understand the impact of riding on the human mind and what it might tell us about how the brain learns and changes over time.

 

For our first research project we are comparing the human brain while riding to an existing body of work and data on the human mind during both focused meditation and meditation on compassion.

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Equine Facilitated Therapy for Complex Trauma (EFT-CT)

 

Check out the new article Jane co-authored with a team from Justice Resource Institute (JRI) on how Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy might help traumatized youth. JRI has been extremely supportive in helping to further EFP. This research has brought their well studied methods to this unique therapy. 

 

Real Time Data Visualization
Real Time Data Visualization

We place a tablet on the saddle pad for data acquisition from either the horse or rider while working.

Test Subject 0
Test Subject 0

Here Moonshine checks out the tablet before getting to work.

Our First Pony Test Subject
Our First Pony Test Subject

As part of our early work getting the research setup we went out to Devonwood in Oregon to try the EEG on different horses.

First Prototype EEG
First Prototype EEG

Our first prototype used 14 electrodes held in a mesh cap for easy use under a helmet.

The Horse Brain during Acupuncture
The Horse Brain during Acupuncture

As part of our first round of data collection, we tried the EEG on a horse during an acupuncture session.

Moonshine Wearing the EEG
Moonshine Wearing the EEG
Brain Waves at Rest
Brain Waves at Rest
Brain Waves With a Task
Brain Waves With a Task

Here the horse was responding to an umbrella by touching it.

A Pony Brain in Heat
A Pony Brain in Heat

This data was collected on a the mare in the previous image. At the time of testing, she was very much in season. You can see the much larger amplitude and higher frequency present in all brain regions. This data was taken while standing in a stall although her brain looked the same in all environments.