Bass Connections Faculty Team Leader. Emotional Connection: Developing a Mobile Intervention for Social and Emotional Dysfunction. 2018 - 2019

Projects & Field Work

Primary Theme: Brain & Society

Social isolation and lack of intimate relationships have been tied to severe adverse consequences, including poor health outcomes and premature mortality. The epidemic of social isolation, which is getting worse with each new generation, may be a strong driving factor behind the increasing rates of mental health problems in the United States. Given the severity of this public health crisis, there is a pressing need for new interventions that target and treat problems with social functioning across a range of psychiatric disorders. One potential target for intervention is emotion perception deficits, which are problems with perceiving and understanding other people’s emotions. These deficits are associated with serious psychiatric disorders (e.g., anxiety, mood and personality disorders) and lead to debilitating societal problems, such as isolation and violence. Previous research suggests that intense emotional distress impairs emotion perception. Therefore, interventions that help patients manage their emotional experiences in social contexts may improve their ability to perceive other people’s emotions. However, for new interventions to make an impact on the individual and society, the treatment benefits must extend into patients’ daily lives. Duke researchers have developed a new approach to help patients practice new emotion regulation skills using mobile phone reminders.

Service Performed By


  • Bass Connections Faculty Team Leader


  • 2018 - 2019

Service or Event Name

  • Emotional Connection: Developing a Mobile Intervention for Social and Emotional Dysfunction