The first-of-its-kind lab facility in Malaysia and Southeast Asia is equipped with advanced technologies to further mental health and related studies in the country. Taylor’s University has officially launched its new lab facility, Taylor’s Centre for Human Excellence and Development (CHED), a first-of-its-kind research and therapy centre in Malaysia and Southeast Asia.
The centre, intends to revolutionise study and applied research in the areas of psychology and behavioural sciences in Malaysia. CHED was officiated by the Deputy Minister of Health, Yang Berhormat Dato’ Dr. Noor Azmi Ghazali. “The establishment of the Taylor’s University Centre for Human Excellence and Development is an excellent step in the right direction to address rising mental health concerns in Malaysia. I hope to see a proliferation of research in behavioural science, psychology and other aspects of social sciences with the commencement of this centre,” he commented during the virtual launch ceremony.
As part of the planned growth of Taylor’s Psychology agenda, the Centre represents a key support system for researchers, students and practitioners. The launch of CHED enables academics and researchers to embark on advanced studies in behavioural sciences across disciplines including psychology, food studies, education, business and social sciences. As such, the Centre integrates research through the Socio-Behavioral Lab with community welfare and mental health through the Clinical Centre.
The Socio-Behavioral Lab aims to provide a multi-functional space to advance the research, innovations and interventions in multi-disciplinary areas of physical, cognitive, emotional and social contexts of behaviour. It leverages on an extensive range of advanced Artificial Intelligent technology components such as face-tracking cameras, brain scanners and virtual reality equipment that tracks facial and eye movements to identify emotions in facial features. The emotional recognition software is proprietary to Taylor’s University and will enable its students, researchers and psychologists to conduct live research on human interactions.
The Clinical Centre is a therapeutic space and includes four individual therapy rooms, a family room and a group therapy centre. It is tailored predominantly as a training and skill development centre for students of the Master and Undergraduate programmes who seek to develop therapeutic skills. The Centre, which is in addition to the current University Counselling facilities, may be utilised by Taylor’s staff, students and external therapists to conduct counselling, therapy, training, workshops and assessments.
Currently, Taylor’s Centre for Human Excellence and Development is supporting a research project on Prader-Willi Syndrome, which has received a grant under the Hubert Curien Partnership France-Malaysia Hibiscus (PHC Hibiscus). The project is led by prominent Taylor’s University lecturers, Associate Professor Dr. Anasuya Jegathesan, Dr. Elise Line Mognard and Professor Dr. Jean-Pierre Marie Poulain from the Faculty of Social Sciences and Leisure Management (FSLM).