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The Dual n-back and ADHD

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Jessica Williams

on 4 June 2016

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Transcript of The Dual n-back and ADHD


Will the dual n-back task help alleviate the learning challenges of individuals with ADHD?
by Jessica Williams

Thesis
Although scholars with opposing views argue that there is a scarcity of valid evidence that dual n-back can diminish ADHD itself, research suggests that it can indeed help alleviate the complications with working memory deficit and inattentiveness in order to improve the measures of fluid intelligence.
Background Knowledge
Fluid intelligence: the capacity to solve novel problems, to learn, to reason, to see connections and to get to the bottom of things ("What")
Working memory is vital to fluid intelligence
Working memory: "a system for temporarily storing and managing the information required to carry out complex cognitive tasks such as learning, reasoning, and comprehension" ("Definition")
How will dual n-back help?
The dual n-back task will help train the working memory
Training your working memory and your attention can increase your basic cognitive skills that help you for many different complex tasks
Dr. Jaeggi states that attention and working memory are the cardiovascular functions of the brain. “If you train your attention and working memory, you increase your basic cognitive skills that help you for many different complex tasks.” (Hurley, 9)
What does fluid intelligence and ADHD have to do with one another.
Conclusion
By developing the working memory and helping individuals become more attentive, the dual n-back game will help individuals with ADHD improve in their academic skills.
“Students usually are identified only after consistently demonstrating a failure to understand or follow rules or to complete required tasks. Other common reasons for referral include frequent classroom disruptions and poor academic performance” (“Identifying”)
According to “ADHD and Working Memory,” working memory weaknesses are linked to ADHD, learning disabilities, and problems with spoken language
“Recent studies show that working memory weaknesses are more strongly related to inattention than to hyperactivity/impulsivity. This means that children with the Inattentive or Combined subtype of ADHD may have more trouble with tasks that need working memory” (“ADHD”)
Implications
Recommendations for further research
N-Back game must be played during childhood
“Fluid intelligence is important for successful functioning in the modern world, but much evidence suggests that fluid intelligence is largely immutable after childhood. [...]” (“Failure”)
Must be played for a long period of time
“In 2008, scientists at the University of Michigan and the University of Bern in Switzerland published a paper in PNAS that concluded training for just 10 hours on a working memory task known as the adaptive dual n-back task, which appears in some forms in commercial brain-training software, could improve some measures of fluid intelligence—that which is behind the ability to solve problems” (Olena)
Scientists must find out to what extent is hyperactivity involved with working memory
Find out more about how, or if, hyperactivity relates with working memory
How much on average would it cost for public elementary and middle schools to make dual n-back game a regular thing?
How will the dual n-back task help students in the classroom?
“The study, by a Swedish neuroscientist named Torkel Klingberg, involved 14 children, all with ADHD […] After just five weeks, Klingberg found that those who played the working memory game fidgeted less and moved about less” (Hurley).
Students will be less disruptive in the classroom
They will be able to focus more
Working memory capacity will be improved, which means the students will be better at processing information
"Students usually are identified [as ADHD] only after consistently demonstrating a failure to understand or follow rules or to complete required tasks. Other common reasons for referral include frequent classroom disruptions and poor academic performance" ("Identifying")
Children are fidgety, easily distracted, and disruptive
Won't be able to process sets of instructions ("ADHD")
"Academic underachievement in adolescents with ADHD is particularly concerning,as it is associated with substantial social, health, and economic problems in adulthood" (Rogers, Heungsun Hwang, Maggie Toplak, Margaret Weiss, and Rosemary Tannock)

How it affects children in the classroom
Full transcript