Researchers at the University of Hertfordshire have been testing a new thought-operated computer system which, it is claimed, can reduce the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children.
Professor Karen Pine, of the University’s School of Psychology, investigated the effects of EEG (Electroencephalography) biofeedback, a learning strategy that detects brain waves, on ten children with an attention deficit. They used a system called Play Attention, which involves the child playing an educational computer game whilst wearing a helmet similar to a bicycle helmet. The helmet picks up their brain activity in the form of EEG waves related to attention. As long as the child concentrates they control the games, but as soon as their attention waivers, the game stops.
The researchers found that the children’s impulsive behaviour was reduced, compared to a control group who had not used the system. “Children with a diagnosis of ADHD find it hard to control their impulses and inhibit inappropriate behaviour,” said Professor Pine, “This can lead to educational and behavioural difficulties. The Play Attention method may prevent long-term problems by helping the children to be less impulsive and more self-controlled.”
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