At least, that’s what Claire O’Connell thinks. She’s one of nearly fifty adults taking part in a biometrics study in which adults with and without ADHD use biometric readings to train themselves to up their alertness when they recognize periods of inattention.
The study is being performed in Ireland by Dr. Jessica Bramham, Professor Ian Robertson, and PhD student Simona Salomone using around twenty-five controls (adults without ADHD) and twenty variables (adults with ADHD), to determine whether or not individuals can be trained to recognize and increase their own awareness levels.
The study uses both EEG and galvanic skin response (GSR) to measure a participant’s level of alertness. The EEG measurements are used primarily for the researchers, but GSR data is displayed to the participants themselves to help them visualize their attention drops and recognize the emotional reactions.
During moments of decreased awareness, the researchers produce a stimulus–a loud noise, for example–and the participants are able to see their increased alertness directly on the screen. Eventually, these noises are replaced with catch phrases or keywords. The end goal is for the participants to speak these words in their everyday lives to increase their alertness when they feel their levels drop.
Professor Robertson has been working with this system for twenty years. He originally developed it for use with stroke patients. He then moved on to people suffering from age-related forgetfulness. The ADHD study is the latest adventure.
Though there have been no definitive findings on the effectiveness of this system so early into the study, the researchers are confident that the preliminary results demonstrate a promising outlook