Fidgeting for Regulation Study

This NIH-funded project studies how fidgeting (motor movement) relates to cognitive and emotional functioning in adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It will assess in a laboratory setting, if intrinsic movement and access to a "fidget device" providing sensory and motor stimulation can improve cognitive and emotional regulation (including on physiological measures) in adults with ADHD. We will also acquire data for machine learning analyses to be used in future, large scale studies to identify gestures and touch characteristics associated with improved cognitive and emotional regulation to see if we can predict and subsequently develop recommendations to improve performance and emotional control in natural settings (e.g., home, office, college classroom) for adults with ADHD.

We are studying brain development in adolescents and young adults to discover more about how self-control develops. ADHD is associated with even higher rates of impulsivity and self-control problems. Findings from this study may help us better understand the development of self-control in adolescents and young adults with and without ADHD. Furthermore, our findings may lead to successful targets and recommendations for future self-control interventions, potentially benefiting those with ADHD and the general population.

The purpose of this study is to test whether a new intervention can help persons with attention problems or have ADHD with significant inattention, learn to ignore distractors.

We are performing this current study to test if this training to increase self-control can be increased using mobile app technology, with computerized game time being used as a reward. If this app is successful, it could be developed in the future as a program to that will give parents and teachers the opportunity for frequent training (e.g., on a cell phone or tablet) to practice self-control “games” in a variety of contexts using a readily consumable reward (i.e., game playing).