Launch of a specific brain training for ADHD.

 

Launch of a specific brain training for ADHD.

Launch of a specific brain training for ADHD.

When discussing the main difficulties of children impaired with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), it is often very hard to sort out the causes of the deficit from its own consequences. Most research concludes that ADD and ADHD originate in an inability to inhibit the processing of irrelevant thoughts or information. All the other known cognitive difficulties in ADHD result from this one inability to suppress irrelevant information. Over the years, these resulting behaviors become entrenched deficits with further results of their own.

For example, one of the cognitive skills affected by ADHD is inhibition. If the neighbor’s dog likes to bark a lot every day, most people in the neighborhood will become used to the barking and ignore it when it takes place; maybe they will not even hear it anymore. In the same way, we can easily ignore a TV turned on in a room, or a conversation not intended for us in a bus, if we choose to. We may ignore them in such a way that we no longer hear them. We can see a person, say hello, without lapsing into daydreaming about his birthday party last year. Persons with ADD or ADHD have difficulties inhibiting dog barks, TV words, conversations or daydreaming even if they want to.

CogniFit has developed specific tasks that teach us inhibition as a mean to control our behavior. These tasks require that we ignore things happening in our environment and that we suppress thoughts in our minds that are irrelevant to what we have to do. If we do not inhibit (ignore and suppress) the irrelevant information, it will sidetrack us and prevent us from reaching our goals.

Another issue with ADD and ADHD is the difficulty to stay focused over a long time span. Because they cannot inhibit processing irrelevant information and thoughts, individuals with ADD or ADHD cannot learn the mechanisms of staying focused on a task. While trying to focus, they are continually distracted by irrelevant thoughts and information which they cannot suppress. In normally growing children and youths, attention span (time during which we are able to concentrate on the same task) increases with age, practice and experience. Attention span also increases in individuals with ADD/ADHD, but in their case, because they fail inhibiting distractions, this increase is often minimal and insufficient to enable them to perform home, school and work tasks. Tasks performed under optimal focus become errorless. Individuals who can focus learn to monitor their work and avoid “careless” errors.

In the case of attention, CogniFit has developed tasks that help us increase the duration of our attention span. The ultimate goal of such a task is to increase the time spent adhering to the task while processing only relevant information and ignoring distractions that are irrelevant to the task. CogniFit has also developed tasks to train shifting which is another known cognitive issue of ADD and ADHD.

The team is also happy to announce that as part of this release, we have also developed other specific trainings such as for the cognitive effects of stroke and chemotherapy.