Naomi J. Steiner, Elizabeth C. Frenette, Kirsten M. Rene, Robert T. Brennan and Ellen C. Perrin
Pediatrics; originally published online February 17, 2014; DOI: 10.1542/peds.2013-2059
The online version of this article, along with updated information and services, is located on the World Wide Web at: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2014/02/11/peds.201
Neurofeedback, a type of training using a computer program for children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), can contribute to lasting improvements for these children, according to a study in the March 2014 issue of Pediatrics, “In-School NeurofeedbackTraining for ADHD: Sustained Improvement From a Randomized Control Trial,” published online Feb. 17. Neurofeedback consists of giving immediate feedback (both heard and seen) to individuals regarding their attention as they practice focusing. Neurofeedback trains users to monitor and change their brainwave patterns in ways that can improve their attention and executive functioning (a set of skills related to learning and academic achievement). The researchers looked at 102 children and compared their attention and executive functioning after two types of computer training: neurofeedback and cognitive training. These students were compared to students who had no computer training for the study. Compared to no computer training, the children using both types of training had better results in certain areas of attention and learning six months later. The group using neurofeedback showed significant improvements, in more areas and to a greater degree than those who received cognitive training. This is the first large randomized controlled trial to evaluate the long-term effectiveness of in-school computer training for ADHD, and the authors identify future research steps to advance this type of brain development.