From: The New York Times

Research Hints at Promise and Difficulty of Helping People With A.D.H.D. Learn

The New York Times:

Over the past few decades, cognitive scientists have found that small alterations in how people study can accelerate and deepen learning, improving retention and comprehension in a range of subjects, including math, science and foreign languages.

The findings come almost entirely from controlled laboratory experiments of individual students, but they are reliable enough that software developers, government-backed researchers and various other innovators are racing to bring them to classrooms, boardrooms, academies — every real-world constituency, it seems, except one that could benefit most: people with learning disabilities.

“If anything, for the A.D.H.D. group, the restudying was a little bit better,” said Nicole Dudukovic, the lead author, who is now at the University of Oregon. The likely reason, she said, was that the students with attention deficits did not remember much from the first study session, so the pretesting was a wash.

“We also suspect that there will be some individual differences in how well this technique works, from person to person,” Dr. Dudukovic added.

And there’s the rub, experts said. A.D.H.D., like many mental conditions, manifests as a spectrum of discrete types, some more hyperactive, others more distractible. Then there are the effects of the stimulant medication that many with A.D.H.D. take, which neither study addressed.

“Clearly, there’s a lot of work to be done,” said Gregory Fabiano, a psychologist at the University at Buffalo. “You want to see how these techniques apply not only to different types, but also in different contexts, like community college, occupational training and other settings. But this is a good start.”

Read the whole story: The New York Times

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