COMPUTERIZED COGNITIVE TRAINING FOR INDIVIDUALS DIAGNOSED WITH ATTENTION DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER
Rodolfo Marin, Steven Verney.
The University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM.
Students diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have difficulty concentrating and performing in school. Aside from cognitive deficits, individuals diagnosed with ADHD may have behavioral symptoms like hyperactivity and impulsivity that contribute to deficiencies in their learning strategies. Computerized cognitive training (CCT) programs have become popular due to claims of improved cognitive functioning. This study investigated the efficacy of CCT for students with ADHD from published research. A literature review of published studies was conducted that evaluated the computerized cognitive training effectiveness for ADHD students. Findings from 19 peer-reviewed studies suggested that CCT improved performance on administered tasks (e.g., working memory); however, participants only showed improved cognition in tasks that were similar to the training. Generalized improvements in domains not specifically targeted by the intervention (e.g., behavior, attendance) were also reported. Parents and teachers reported that CCT was improving student’s behavioral symptoms, which in turn helped them concentrate and perform better in the classroom setting. The relatively small number of studies on CCT in ADHD also highlighted many inconsistencies across study methodologies and measures. For example, teachers and parents were not blind to the intervention, possibly introducing methodology bias to the experiment and artificially increasing teacher and parent ratings. Additionally, significant practice effects for the trained intervention were reported. More research is needed to understand the effectiveness of specific cognitive training programs on improving cognitive functioning in individuals with ADHD.