07. Learning

Cognitive Functions Are The Key To Improving Student Performance

January 12, 2016

NeuroTracker isn’t just for athletes. NeuroTracker’s programs have been used for positive improvements in the classroom, with the aim of improving crucial skills needed in learning. These include working memory, information processing speed, and other cognitive functions (read the study HERE).

Most of the problems these students face stem from an inability to focus on the task on hand. This problem is intensified when multiple audio and visual stimuli are available to distract the student. After training with NeuroTracker, students can be typically expected to build-up their selective and distributed attention, needed for mental focus on what’s important, and for avoiding distractions.

How NeuroTracker Works

NeuroTracker instantly captures the attention of students, in part through ‘gamification’ - it’s fun to do! But it also requires intense focus, so it draws the participant in. Students are asked to track a select number of balls floating across the screen, then to correctly identify them after a period of movement and collisions. These movements, and the constant distractions present, train the student’s mind to focus on what is important while processing and dismissing the distractions around them. The students typically experienced both increased focus and an increase in the amount of time they are able to sustain their focus.

Distributed Attention

Distributive attention is the ability to distribute your focus on multiple objects at the same time. Each object a student focuses on is mentally handled as an independent process – they must be able to calculate the movement of each object individually.

Training your distributive focus allows you to multitask better and prioritize competing demands on your attention. It is not uncommon in the classroom, or in other real-life situations, that a student is faced with multiple stimuli that have to be juggled at once. Listening to a lecture, reading a presentation, and taking notes all at the same time is challenging for many students. Often they will attempt to juggle all of the tasks but end up not fully being able to focus on any one. Training the distributive focus allows a student to better process multiple stimuli and perform better in all of them.

Selective Attention

Training with NeuroTracker is a good way to build up a student’s selective attention – essential for weeding out the unimportant stimuli and for focusing on what’s important. Having to track specific objects in a field of many, and repeating that exercise multiple times, is like going to the gym for the brain’s filter. It becomes stronger, and thus it is easier for a student to decipher what is the crucial information and to tune out the remaining distractions.

Check out the study “Enhancing Cognitive Function Using Perceptual-Cognitive Training” for more information about the role of 3D multiple object tracking in improving cognitive functions.

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