Researchers say study implies that neurocognitive training can result in broader and socially meaningful outcomes than improvement of ADHD symptoms. A new research published in SAGE Open, a journal encompassing all avenues of the behavioral and social sciences and humanities, revealed that children suffering from ADHD could improve their social and behavioral skills by concentrating on a computer game.

The case study that was conducted administered specifically designed software to students of five elementary schools in China. The software worked by syncing a wireless headband that monitored the child’s brain waves as he or she played. The headband also adjusts the level of difficulty and the system of scoring. These basic manipulations would help in targeting and training aspects of attention control, impulses and working memory. This form of neurocognitive training resulted in an overall improvement in behavior, completion of tasks and social interaction.

Before putting the study into action, the parents were asked to rate the extent of the problems of their children. The problems included hyperactivity, lack of attention and social inhibitions. After the study, the ratings were seen to have reduced to near normal levels. Teachers also reported a decrease in the frequency of symptoms associated with ADHD.

Moreover, four out of the five groups of parents stated an improvement in social interactions of their children with teachers and class fellows. The study also concluded that an increase in teacher acceptance via positive reinforcement enhanced peer acceptance as well.

The authors of the study, Han Jiang and Stuart Johnstone, explained the results saying, “The present study implies that the neurocognitive training can result in broader and more socially meaningful outcomes than improvement of ADHD symptoms. Two reasons possibly explain the side effect. First, the increased attentive behavior in class and improved quality of schoolwork improved these children’s social status. Second, game-driven and task-directed features of the training increased the children’s confidence in doing tasks.”

They added that once a child had received positive reassurances along with technical assistance, dramatic improvements in symptoms may be achieved.

The results of this case study have established grounds for larger in-depth randomized control trials that are presently ongoing in Australia and China.