Science 2018-05-08T18:19:59+00:00

Cognitive Brain Training for Improving Cognitive Function in Children

Designed by the world’s leading cognitive scientists to develop and strengthen children’s brain functions.

The Neuroscience Behind ACTIVATE™’s Super-Charged Brain Training

Meet Dr. Bruce Wexler

brain training for adhdResearch by renowned Psychiatric Neuroscientist, Dr. Bruce Wexler of Yale University, has advanced the understanding of neuroplasticity: the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections. The human brain remains highly flexible for a much longer time after birth than the brains of any other animals, and Dr. Wexler realized that parts of the brain thought to be compromised in ADHD and associated with attention, response inhibition, and other executive functions actually continue to develop throughout childhood and adolescence. The programs have since proven to be beneficial for improving cognitive function for all children and not just those with learning disabilities.

With this in mind, Dr. Wexler created computerized cognitive remediation (CCRT), the foundation of what is now ACTIVATE™, which focused on strengthening those compromised parts of the ADHD brain and focused on working memory using spatial, digit, and word span exercises that increased in length as the child’s performance improved. In the initial randomized control trial of 53 children, the executive function and working memory of the treatment group showed dramatic improvement! An independent scientific study revealed that the benefits of Dr. Wexler’s CCRT program were significantly greater than the benefits of ADHD medication in a group of 25 children with the learning disorder.

In late 2011, Dr. Wexler’s work was recognized by the National Institutes of Health with their prestigious Transformative Research Award for “high innovation, high impact, paradigm-changing research with the potential to transform medical practice” which gave him the ability to help found the C8 Sciences company and fully develop ACTIVATE™.

Four innovative components that make ACTIVATE™ unique:

  • Automatic Individualization of Treatment:

The program moves the child quickly through areas of strength, keeps them working longer in their areas of weakness, and avoids keeping them working on an exercise for too long once they’ve reached their maximum gain.

  • Online Error Diagnostics:

The advanced diagnostics recognizes over 40 different types of errors that a child might make during their gameplay. This aids in the generation of data-rich comprehensive reports on progress and cognitive flexibility.

  • Online Corrective Strategy Messaging:

When a child makes an error during gameplay, he or she is instantly given a corrective strategy notification on how to solve the problem correctly. The gameplay is then automatically adjusted to make the problem easier to understand by presenting in a different way. Once the child answers a problem correctly multiple times, they are presented with special rewards.

  • Integrated Physical Exercises:

ACTIVATE™ gives you the tools to use physical exercises that stimulate the same areas of the brain as the computer games – but do so in a whole-body and social activity. Resources are provided for individual children and small groups – as well as for how sports and other activities children may already be involved with can be a part of their cognitive training.

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The 8 Core Cognitive Capacities

The scientific community is just beginning to understand the neurological basis for learning basic executive function skills, and is developing new ways to strengthen these skills by way of specially designed exercises. ACTIVATE™ categorizes the brain’s executive function skills into 8 core cognitive capacities which form the building blocks for all learning.

1. Sustained Attention

The ability to look, listen, and think about a task over a period of time.

2. Working Memory

The ability to remember instructions or keep information top of mind long enough to perform tasks.

3. Speed of Information Processing

The ability to process basic incoming information quickly and efficiently.

4. Response Inhibition

The ability to appropriately control your response to distractions or situations going on around you.

5. Cognitive Flexibility

The ability to change what you are thinking about – like when moving from one subject to another.

6. Category Formation

The ability to prioritize tasks and organize information in the most efficient way.

7. Pattern Recognition

The ability to logically assume what will happen next based on past experience, intuition, and common sense.

8. Simultaneous Attention

The ability to effortlessly move attention and effort back and forth between two or more activities when engaged in them at the same time.

Request a Copy of the Scientific Paper

Learn more about the cognitive neuroscience behind ACTIVATE™ in the scientific justification paper by Dr. Bruce Wexler.