Paediatric neurocognitive interventions theme

Working memory training in children who have survived an acquired brain injury (Dr Anna Adlam)

This stream of work is funded by the British Academy and Action Medical Research. We are conducting a multi-site (South West and East Anglia) randomised controlled trial to investigate the efficacy of computerised working memory training (working memory is the ability to store and manipulate information in mind over a brief period of time) with children (aged 8 – 16 years) who have survived a brain injury. We are interested in finding out whether children show training gains on measures of working memory (near transfer) immediately after training and after 6-months, and whether gains are also shown on measures of maths and literacy (far transfer), and other cognitive and psychosocial measures. If you would like to find out more about this study, or would like to take part, then please contact the research team (ccnr@exeter.ac.uk). Related to this stream of work, we are also conducting studies to investigate memory and attention in children with neurological vulnerability such as, children born prematurely, children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and children with genetic risk factors.

Prospective memory training in adolescents who have survived an acquired brain injury (Dr Anna Adlam)

Following our recent study (with Dr Rebecca Rous, Cambridge Cognition, in preparation for publication), we are conducting a repeated single case series to investigate whether adolescents who have survived a brain injury benefit from an intervention to improve executive function (e.g., problem-solving, planning, organisation skills) and prospective memory (the ability to keep goals and intended actions in mind). We are interested in finding out whether adolescents show improvements on a prospective memory task and the performance of ‘real world’ goals that they set themselves. This study will soon be recruiting adolescents in the South West. If you would like to find out more about this study, or would like to take part, then please contact the research team (ccnr@exeter.ac.uk). Related to this stream of work, we are working with colleagues in the USA to evaluate web-based interventions for executive function in adolescents who have survived a brain injury.

Neural correlates of neurocognitive interventions (Dr Anna Adlam & Dr Fraser Milton)

We are interested in understanding the mechanisms underpinning neurocognitive interventions, particularly during development and following brain injury. This work involves neuroimaging techniques such as structural magnetic resonance imaging, functional magnetic resonance imaging, and diffusion tensor imaging.