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New tests and treatment for attention disorders

Thousands of people across the world are affected by attention disorders. New research is developing improved testing methods for attentiveness, which should shed light on brain function in these disorders.
New tests and treatment for attention disorders
Congenital and acquired attention deficits are poorly understood in terms of brain function and this hampers treatment. Better tests and analyses are needed, especially when it comes to understanding the attention networks across the two brain hemispheres, or lateralised attention networks (LANs).

The EU-funded 'Initial training network: Lateralised attention networks' (ITN-LAN) project was established to standardise the testing of LAN function. The initiative brought together eight senior research scientists in six research teams, and employed nine new scientists in the field.

Project members specifically sought to develop and standardise related behavioural tests, and to correlate behavioural data with neurophysiological tests of brain function. A further aim was to advance methods of treating attention deficits based on the data generated.

Research efforts have led to the modification of a well established model of attention theory. A series of psychological, physiological and neurological tests were also developed to predict treatment success in stroke recovery.

Brain imaging protocols for learning and attention tasks were developed as well. And, importantly, several interventions were advanced for people suffering from attention problems, including neurofeedback treatment and cognitive training.

At the conclusion of the project, the research team was satisfied that all scientific objectives were met. The investigations were founded on well established collaborations and, from a skills development point of view, helped boost the scientific careers of several young researchers.

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