Lab Presentation: "Assessing and Training Attention with a Multiple Object-Tracking Paradigm: A School-Based Approach for Students Diagnosed with a Neurodevelopmental Condition"
McGill University graduate student Dom Tullo will be presenting his research at the Friday meeting of Associate Professor Susanne Jaeggi's Working Memory and Plasticity (WMP) Lab. His presentation is titled "Assessing and Training Attention with a Multiple Object-Tracking Paradigm: A School-Based Approach for Students Diagnosed with a Neurodevelopmental Condition."
Date: Friday, July 12, 2019
Time: 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm
Location: Education 2005
Attentional capacities vary across individuals, and these differences are exacerbated among individuals diagnosed with a neurodevelopmental condition. With childhood deficits in attention having a negative, lifelong impact on education, there is a need for the development of methodology to both measure and improve attention associated with everyday learning in the classroom. This presentation will provide an overview of research conducted by Domenico Tullo, a PhD candidate at McGill University. The overview centers on: (i) the characterization of individual differences in attention and learning; and (ii) the feasibility to train attention for children and adolescents that have been diagnosed with a neurodevelopmental condition. The research program uses a modified and enriched version of a thirty-year-old psychometric measure of visual attention: Multiple Object-Tracking (MOT). MOT involves visually tracking a set of target objects from physically indistinguishable distractor objects, over a short period of time. The task is well accepted in the cognitive science literature as a robust measure of distributed, sustained, and selective attention (Meyerhoff, Papenmeier, & Huff, 2017). Primarily, the main objective of the research program was to examine the efficacy of MOT’s capability to train attention in two separate randomized control trials for students diagnosed with a neurodevelopmental condition. From there, the MOT task was used to examine individual differences in learning trajectories on the attention-based task between three neurodevelopmental conditions either defined (i.e., ADHD) or not defined by deficits in attention (i.e., Autism Spectrum Disorder, Intellectual Delay, etc.). Additionally, other factors that might influence learning, and potentially attention training gains, such as task-specific feedback were examined. From these studies, suggestions for optimal settings for cognitive training involving an atypically developing population will be discussed to combat the inconsistency in findings throughout the cognitive training literature.