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Project Overview

Attentional skills provide the foundation for cognitive development and educational achievement. Attentional difficulties are a core feature of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and have been linked with poor long-term consequences. We know that early intervention to strengthening attention in children with ADHD is vital to improving learning capacity and academic outcomes.

Through the ATICA Project, the Monash School of Psychological Sciences are interested in understanding whether a game-based cognitive training program can strengthen attention in children who have ADHD. Download the ATICA project flyer or read on for more details.

What is the study about?

Attention problems are a core feature of ADHD and can have far-reaching consequences for learning, social relationships, and behaviour in childhood. Therefore, finding effective early interventions that can help improve attention is key to improving overall outcomes for children with ADHD.

Rehabilitation using intensive computerised therapy offers the potential to help recovery and reduce the likelihood of long-term problems.

A cognitive training program was developed in response to the lack of suitable non-pharmacological treatments to treat attention difficulties in children, and mounting evidence that targeted training can have a positive lasting impact on cognitive function.

This cognitive training program is the only adaptive, game-based cognitive training program for young children, and has yet to be trialled in children with ADHD. To date, this program has been shown to improve attention capacity and learning outcomes in children (4-10 years) with intellectual delay due to conditions such as autism spectrum disorder and Down syndrome.

Who can participate?

We’re looking for children aged 5 – 8 years who have been diagnosed with ADHD who:

  • Are English speaking
  • Do not have a history of major trauma
  • Do not have a diagnosed intellectual disability
  • Have no other genetic or biological conditions (e.g. Fragile X, fetal alcohol syndrome)
  • Have not previously participated in a study of a cognitive training program
  • Do not have a sibling also enrolled in this study
  • Do not have visual, hearing of physical impairments that would prevent them from engaging with the intervention

Individuals who wish to participate will be given a consent form either via email, or mail to read and sign if they wish to participate. A summary of the research will be provided to all participants at the end of the project. Participants will be able to request individual results if they wish.

Download Explanatory statement For Parents/Guardians of Participants

What is involved?

Participation in the present study will involve two phases.

Phase 1 – Initially parents will complete some eligibility and demographic questionnaires. A cognitive assessment may be offered to your child at this stage if required.

Phase 2 – Your child will complete a game-based cognitive training intervention at home for a period of 5 weeks, as well as attending four sessions at either Monash University or the family home to measure changes in attention, memory and social functioning. Parents will also be asked to complete questionnaires at these sessions.

More Information

To learn more, please contact the research team or download the flyer below:

Ms Tori Gaunson & Meg Bennett
Monash University
School of Psychological Sciences

Phone: +61 3 9905 5507

Download Project Flyer