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Domenico Tullo, Jocelyn Faubert, Armando Bertone; Examining the benefits of training attention with Multiple Object-Tracking for individuals diagnosed with a neurodevelopmental condition: A cross-over, cognitive training study. Journal of Vision 2018;18(10):1021. doi: 10.1167/18.10.1021.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Multiple Object Tracking (MOT) is a robust measure of visual attention that accurately targets and isolates selective, sustained, dynamic and distributed attention. Given these characteristics, the present study assessed the potential to train attention in individuals diagnosed with a neurodevelopmental condition (NDC) using a MOT task that adapted to the participants' capability by adjusting object velocity after each trial. The attentional capacity of 96 children and adolescents, diagnosed with either Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, Intellectual Disability, or other genetic based NDCs was assessed at baseline using the clinically validated Conners Continuous Performance task 3rd edition (CPT-3). Participants were then randomly assigned to one of two cross-over groups: the MOT training group (n=32; MIQ=79), an active control group that played a math-like strategy game (n=32; MIQ=75); or a passive control group (n=32; MIQ=80). Following 15 training sessions (3 times per week for 5 weeks), only the experimental MOT training group showed significantly improved CPT-3 scores when compared to baseline. There were no post training improvements for active and passive control groups. The MOT and active control group then crossed-over and switched treatment conditions. Following the subsequent 15 training sessions after cross-over, post-test improvement on the CPT-3 scores was once again once found for the MOT training group. Additionally, there were no differences in training gains between neurodevelopmental conditions. The results from the cross-over design demonstrates that training attention was directly related to MOT, while controlling for Hawthorne effects or expectancy bias (i.e., active control) and test-retest effects (i.e., passive control). Overall, these findings highlight the benefit of training attention with MOT by specifically and accurately targeting attention for children and adolescents with a NDC and concurrent attentional difficulties. Moreover, using a non-verbal task, void of context, or any social stimuli is optimal when training attention with an atypically developing population.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2018
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