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Domenico Tullo, Jacalyn Guy, Jocelyn Faubert, Armando Bertone; Using a three-dimensional multiple object tracking paradigm to train attention in students with a learning disability. Journal of Vision 2016;16(12):488. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/16.12.488.
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Decreased selective and sustained attention abilities are often characteristic of atypically developing populations (Koldewyn, et al., 2013). Consequently, several cognitive-based training approaches have been developed to remediate such difficulties by targeting these particular subcomponents of attention (Sonuga-Barke et al., 2014). Multiple object tracking (MOT) paradigms are (i) a measure of sustained, selective, dynamic and distributed attention, (ii) non-verbal in nature and (iii) accessible to students with different levels of cognitive and language functioning. We examined the efficacy of a novel, 3D-MOT attention training program (NeuroTracker) to assess whether increased 3D-MOT performance transferred to another test of attention (i.e., near-transfer; Redick et al., 2014). In our pilot study, a group of adolescents (n = 30; 12 - 17 years old) with a developmental and/or learning disorder underwent a pre-training assessment of IQ (Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence - II [WASI-II]) and attention (Continuous Performance Test - 3 [CPT-3]). Pre-training analyses revealed an association between 3D-MOT performance with both, perceptual (non-verbal) reasoning intelligence measure (r2 = .55) on the WASI-II, and overall CPT-3 performance (r2 = .20). Participants were then randomly assigned to (i) experimental (n= 10), (ii) control (n = 10), or (iii) treatment as usual (TAU) groups (n = 10). The experimental group received 3D-MOT training three times a week, over a period of five weeks (15 sessions), while the control group played a puzzle-like math game. Results revealed an improvement in CPT-3 scores in the experimental group following the training period, with performance improving an average of 10%; no significant changes were found for either control or TAU groups. These results suggest that 3D-MOT can explain a large portion of the variance in intelligence and cognitive functioning specific to a specialized population. Moreover, the near-transfer effects found here provide the basis for examining the far-transfer of 3D-MOT-related improvements in attention to academic success (i.e., mathematics).
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2016
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