Sustained Attention Games
"Steady as she goes." - Maritime saying
Sustained attention involves the ability to calm your nerves and focus steadily. Neurofeedback has been used to promote this kids of calm attentiveness in ADHD kids. It is also similar to mindfulness practice, which is another technique used to increase self-awareness and self-control.
Ping PongSeeing my 5 year old play this game is what started this website. They learn how to keep the ball in play, exercising the part of the brain needed for focused attention.
- Play Attention is a therapy program developed for boys with ADHD based on this same principle, which they say was initially developed at NASA to train fighter pilots. They use a helmet with brainwave sensors and have a slate of six tiered computer games for attention, memory and visual processing. Well designed, but the games are old looking and it costs $2000 per unit. It has tracking software and is designed for delivery by a therapist, though it's also sold to parents with instructions. Claims results in 40-60 hours of use. My concern, aside from the cost, is that kids would never spend that much time on it unless prodded.
- Mindflex Duel This toy from Mattel uses the same brainwave technology as the much pricier therapy games. Focusing your attention causes a ball to rise and move about an obstacle course. The exciting part is that you can play against a friend.
- Mindball is a sexy, competitive version of this game aimed at the corporate sector. You can see a video of it being used on the Regis morning show. It has real time graphs that plot out your progress and do reporting, and is also in the $2000 plus range.
- Wearable computing is getting into this field now every day, using watches and headbands to track and help you moderate your own brainwave activity during your day.
- To overcome monotony for a highly distractable learner, you may want to play loud music in the background.
- Mindfulness-Based Approaches with Children and Adolescents: A Preliminary Review of Current Research in an Emergent Field (Burke, 2010)
- Long-term meditators self-induce high-amplitude gamma synchrony during mental practice (Lutz et al., 2004)
- EEG responses to long-term audioâ€“visual stimulation (Teplan, Krakovska & Stoic, 2006)
- The effects of auditory stimulation on the arithmetic performance of children with ADHD and non-disabled children (Abikoff et al., 1996)