Under a previous grant that we (including David Washburn) adapted the training methods that Rumbaugh and Washburn (1995) had developed to train monkeys for NASA to use with young children (Rueda et al., 2005, 2007). We found these methods to be successful in improving the efficiency of the underlying executive attention network and the training generalized far beyond the specific domain of training to improve the childrens'IQ. These findings have since been replicated and extended in studies with normal children (Rueda et al., in process) and have been applied in clinical studies of ADHD (Tamm et al., in press) and Autism (Ozonoff et al., in process). Findings from other groups have also shown the effectiveness of classroom interventions in training attention (Diamond et al., 2007;Fanning et al., 2007). Although classroom methods are important for practical applications of attention training, our method has the advantage of demonstrating rapid improvement in key skills, which are specified in detail by the computer programs. Checa et al. (2008) have also shown that the efficiency of executive attention predicts important aspects of school performance in middle school children. An important aspect of current research is the identification of an attentional network related to the ability of children and adults to regulate their thoughts and feelings (Posner &Rothbart, 2007). Self regulation is a central concept in developmental psychology. Understanding its neural basis provides an important research question and is critical to understanding whether training in attention can be an effective method for improving school performance in some or all preschool children. Our current longitudinal study began when the children were 7 months old and they were completed at about age 3.5 years in the summer of 2008. We will have observed these children's development of attention over a 3 year period, and they are now of an appropriate age for attention training. Results from our longitudinal study showed how individual differences in temperament and genes were related to the development of the executive attention network and behavior. This group provides a unique opportunity to examine how trained children will differ in attentional development and performance in the early school years from children in a control condition. The literature provides encouragement for the likely success of this enterprise (Blair &Raza, 2007). We recognize that other groups have and will pursue aspects of this proposal (Blair &Raza, 2007;Diamond et al., 2007), but our research has two advantages. One, our training methods are well specified and can also be used with animal models, and two, we have identified the neural basis for improvement, including some of the genes likely to be involved. It appears to be a unique opportunity to determine how attention and its training influence critical aspects of schooling.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Type
Research Program Projects (P01)
Project #
5P01HD060563-04
Application #
8511757
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZHD1-DSR-H)
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
2013-09-01
Budget End
2014-08-31
Support Year
4
Fiscal Year
2013
Total Cost
$71,843
Indirect Cost
$23,612
Name
Georgia State University
Department
Type
DUNS #
837322494
City
Atlanta
State
GA
Country
United States
Zip Code
30302
Parrish, Audrey E; Evans, Theodore A; Beran, Michael J (2015) Defining value through quantity and quality-Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) undervalue food quantities when items are broken. Behav Processes 111:118-26
Parrish, Audrey E; Beran, Michael J (2014) Chimpanzees sometimes see fuller as better: judgments of food quantities based on container size and fullness. Behav Processes 103:184-91
Vonk, Jennifer; Torgerson-White, Lauri; McGuire, Molly et al. (2014) Quantity estimation and comparison in western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla). Anim Cogn 17:755-65
Beran, Michael J; Evans, Theodore A; Paglieri, Fabio et al. (2014) Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) can wait, when they choose to: a study with the hybrid delay task. Anim Cogn 17:197-205
Agrillo, Christian; Parrish, Audrey E; Beran, Michael J (2014) Do rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) perceive the Zöllner illusion? Psychon Bull Rev 21:986-94
Roberts, Anna Ilona; Vick, Sarah-Jane; Roberts, Sam George Bradley et al. (2014) Chimpanzees modify intentional gestures to coordinate a search for hidden food. Nat Commun 5:3088
Sayers, Ken; Lovejoy, C Owen (2014) Blood, bulbs, and bunodonts: on evolutionary ecology and the diets of Ardipithecus, Australopithecus, and early Homo. Q Rev Biol 89:319-57
Chevalier, Nicolas; James, Tiffany D; Wiebe, Sandra A et al. (2014) Contribution of reactive and proactive control to children's working memory performance: Insight from item recall durations in response sequence planning. Dev Psychol 50:1999-2008
Smith, J David; Boomer, Joseph; Zakrzewski, Alexandria C et al. (2014) Deferred feedback sharply dissociates implicit and explicit category learning. Psychol Sci 25:447-57
Perdue, Bonnie M; Evans, Theodore A; Williamson, Rebecca A et al. (2014) Prospective memory in children and chimpanzees. Anim Cogn 17:287-95

Showing the most recent 10 out of 63 publications