Evaluating the effectiveness of real-time biofeedback to monitor and improve ability to sustain attention

MIT Chapel
Date Completed

Professor Maes and her team will use a pre-produced system called ‘AttentivU’, a device in a longer-term study with middle and high school children during home-based schoolwork, to evaluate whether biofeedback helps them focus, improves comprehension of the material as well as school performance. The team will additionally test whether extended use of the system improves their natural ability to be attentive and whether effects last when the student is no longer using the device. The team hopes to recruit 45 children (neurotypical and some with ADHD) aged 12-18 years who will be assigned to an actual biofeedback, a random biofeedback, or a control group. Children will use the biofeedback device at home during three 1-hour sessions each week for a period of 8 weeks. The sessions will include 2 types of tasks, video lectures and/or a reading task, for flipped classroom courses. For evaluation, the team will use the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL), objective metrics to measure comprehension of the material in the video lectures/readings, subjective feedback from the participants, their caregivers and teachers as well as high density EEG for brain imaging before, during and after the 8 weeks.

Video Summary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLUDgWUNihE

Pattie Maes, Nataliya Kosmyna
Lab Name
MIT Media Lab