KatieAnn Skogsberg, Northwestern University
Abstract: Whether you are reading a textbook at home or listening to a lecture, the ability to focus and maintain attention is both a challenge and of paramount importance. Why is it then that some students are able to attend for extended periods of time while others require constant reinforcement? Is it possible that there is something going on in the brain that allows some students to control and regulate their own attention while others need outside support to redirect or maintain their attention?
Studies of children with ADHD using quantitative electroencephalography (QEEG's) suggest that they have different patterns of brain activity than normal participants. Additionally, some studies have reported that a unique and innovative intervention called "Neurofeedback" (a type of biofeedback that targets brain activity) can help not only children with ADHD but also non-disordered participants to improve performance on attention based tasks.
The main goal of our study is to investigate the relationship between the EEG activity of non-disordered participants and performance on a novel series of attention based tasks. Additionally, Neurofeedback training will be explored as a potential way of boosting performance. Evaluations will include pre and post training assessments of QEEG recordings and changes in performance on attention based tasks.
Potential applications for education include the use of QEEG's and multiple attention based tasks to identify students with poor attention skills. Additionally, the use of Neruofeedback may provide an effective intervention to help students with poor attention skills learn to focus and better maintain their attention.