Dr. Stephen Elliott, Dean of Education, is pleased to invite you to attend a presentation by Dr. Rosemary Tannock:
Thursday, September 15, 2011
1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Vernon Ready Room
Duncan McArthur Hall
Dr. Rosemary Tannock holds a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Special Education and Adaptive Technology at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education in the University of Toronto. She is a Senior Scientist at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada, and Professor of Psychiatry and Professor of Special Education & Adaptive Instruction at the University of Toronto. Her clinical research program investigates the causes and treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), with a specific focus on its cognitive manifestations and overlap with learning disabilities. Most recently she and her colleagues have developed an integrated set of multimedia resources on ADHD for teachers, most of which are available on the associated public-domain website www.teachadhd.ca.
Abstract: Individuals with ADHD, particularly those with co-existing Learning Disabilities (ADHD/LD), are at risk for poor academic, occupational, and social outcomes. Cognitive deficits underlying these difficulties, including low working memory (WM), are not well-targeted by current treatments for either ADHD or LD. WM is believed to be a limited-capacity, multi-component cognitive system that allows us to hold and manipulate information “on-line” for a few seconds in order to make a response based on that internal representation of the information. Once thought to be a fixed trait, recent research suggests that WM can be improved by intensive, individualized and adaptive computerized training – which is the focus of this presentation.
Two randomized, controlled trials of WM training (using Cogmed WM software) are reported. One was conducted with a group (n=60) of treatment-resistant adolescents with severe ADHD/LD, who were randomized (using 3;2 ratio) to one of two 5-week computerized, individualized and adaptive training programs (Cogmed WM; Academy of Math), requiring 20 sessions of 45 min duration over 5 weeks. The second study involved a less-severe group of ADHD/LD (n=62) – those attending post-secondary education – who were randomized to the WM training program (25 45-min sessions over 5 weeks) or a Wait-List control group. Outcome measures were classified as: i) criterion measures (measures of WM similar to training activities); ii) near-transfer measures (non-trained measures of WM and other cognitive functions; and iii) far-transfer measures (measures of behavior, academic achievement, and measures of WM in daily life). Intent-to-Treat analyses reveal remarkably similar findings across the two studies. The presentation will conclude with a discussion of critical issues that plague most intervention research.