What is it?
ACTIVATE™ is a three-part brain training program that promises to improve cognitive function for children with ADHD, autism, and other learning deficits through the combined use of neuroscience-based computer games, physical exercise, and National Institute of Health (NIH) assessments.
How does ACTIVATE™ work?
ACTIVATE™ comprises six computer games, some with more than a hundred levels of difficulty. Each targets a specific set of skills – from category formation and sustained attention to speed of information processing – with interactive tasks, like helping Pirate Pete pack his trunk for a trip.
ACTIVATE™ evaluates each child’s areas of strength and weakness, and adjusts the time spent on each computer exercise so more time is dedicated to improving areas of weakness. ACTIVATE™ dynamically updates the difficulty of each player’s games as she succeeds or fails on certain tasks so that she is always challenged, but never frustrated.
At the beginning and end of the training course, each participant takes three NIH cognitive assessments:
- The Flanker Test: Evaluates a child’s ability to block out distraction and focus on the task at hand
- The Working Memory Test: Measures a child’s ability to hold information in mind to complete a task
- The Go/No-Go Test: Captures speed of information processing and cognitive flexibility
The parent, teacher, or provider portal displays data from every click within the game, and the child’s responses to NIH questionnaires, so adults can monitor progress in real time.
The ACTIVATE™ program recommends 20- to 30-minute physical exercises that stimulate the same areas of the brain as do the computer games when practiced three to five times a week. A detailed handbook explains how to implement the physical education curriculum, which includes everything from jumping rope and martial arts to juggling or throwing a ball.
Who is ACTIVATE™ for?
ACTIVATE™ is marketed for children with ADHD, autism, and other learning deficits.
How much does it cost?
There are three versions of the ACTIVATE™ program:
- ACTIVATE™ for Schools: Includes computer games, an exercise program, and assessments along with a teacher dashboard that displays data and progress for each student. Contact ACTIVATE™ at (877) 360-9229 for pricing information.
- ACTIVATE™ for Healthcare: Designed as an assessment tool for healthcare professionals and a treatment program. Contact ACTIVATE™ at (877) 360-9229 for pricing information.
- ACTIVATE™ at Home:
- 3-Month Subscription: $195
- 6-Month Subscription: $295
- 12-Month Subscription: $495
What studies have been done on ACTIVATE™?
The foundation of ACTIVATE™ is computerized cognitive remediation (CCRT), a program designed by psychiatric neuroscientist Dr. Bruce Wexler of Yale University. A small randomized, controlled study, cited by ACTIVATE™, found that executive function and working memory improved after using CCRT.
A clinical trial, published in Trials journal, assigned 122 children with ADHD to use ACTIVATE™ at home for 40 minutes a day, 6 days a week for 8 weeks — or to a control group. The study concluded in September 2016, but the results have not been posted.
Some studies have found that computer-based brain training can improve attention and the ability to stay on task for children). Others suggest that the claims many software programs make are bogus, and that results within the game don’t translate to improved attention in real life.
Academics continue to research and debate the efficacy of brain training games, like ACTIVATE™, to significantly improve cognition.
Where can I learn more?
Contact ACTIVATE™ at (877) 360-9229 or visit www.c8sciences.com.
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