Why Computerized Cognitive Training Programs are the Future of ADHD Therapy
It is widely accepted by neuroscientists and others studying the advancement of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) treatments that the field of cognitive training – or “brain fitness” – will grow over the next few years with regard to computer software applications. For organizations such as C8 Sciences, one of the most vital areas to be looking at is helping children with attention deficits improve brain function and reduce ADHD symptoms…and in recent years such researchers in the ADHD field have devoted a great deal of attention on examining the benefits of cognitive training for the affliction.
Although treatment through medication has proven effective for many children with ADHD, there has been a vital need to explore and develop interventions to complement – or in some cases substitute – medication. What institutions such as C8 Sciences had found is that this was true for a variety of reasons including:
- Not all individuals with ADHD benefitted from or responded to medication.
- Residual difficulties that needed to be addressed through other measures were found among those who benefitted.
- Adverse effects were experienced by some patients which prevented them from remaining on medication.
- Treatment via medication did not always result in beneficial extensions beyond the time period the medication was being taken.
Because of these limitations, researchers such as those with C8 Sciences pursued cognitive training as an alternative method of treatment for ADHD, the basic concept focusing on strengthening vital cognitive skills such as attention and working memory. According to scientists looking into these methods, working memory can, like any other set of skills, be strengthened and enhanced with intensive focused practice.
Enter Computerized Cognitive Training Programs for Children with ADHD
The basic premise of computerized attention training is really quite elementary: A computer software program requires children to indulge in a variety of computer exercises while making different responses depending on the stimuli presented. For example – a particularly simple, rudimentary task would require the child to depress the space bar each time the number two (2) was flashed, but to also refrain from responding when any other number was indicated. To perform successfully, the child must sustain their attention and refrain from responding in an impulsive fashion. And while this is only a sample of what computerized cognitive tests can do and other tasks may prove to be far more complicated, the point is that demands are placed on both problem-solving skills and working memory with all tasks requiring sustained attention to complete successfully.
Computer-assisted remediation applications have been utilized for people with learning disabilities and ADHD with great success, and it is believed by many neuroscience professionals that this is the future of ADHD therapy. The interventions have shown, in most cases, to:
- Increase working memory
- Sustain attention
- Help children focus attention to discriminate and selectively attend to stimuli
- Increase self-regulatory error detection and correction
- Decrease impulsivity
C8 Sciences and the Revolutionary ACTIVATE™ Program
C8 Sciences’ ACTIVATE™ program measurably strengthens children’s cognitive functions by dynamically fusing computer and physical exercises, ultimately helping those suffering with ADHD, autism and other learning disorders. Utilizing what C8 Sciences representatives call “the most sophisticated cognitive software ever developed,” the computer exercises as implemented via ACTIVATE™ naturally increase the brain’s ability to sustain attention, memory and self-control through a robust training schedule lasting 20 to 45 minutes, from three to five times per week.
Through the computer implementation side of ACTIVATE™, students perform a wide range of cognitive tasks such as memorizing sequences, completing patterns, task-switching and placing items in categories. This unique program not only recognizes when the child makes an error, it determines why and coaches in real time how to improve his or her thinking strategies.