Childhood inattention is linked with poor academic outcomes and lifetime functioning, posing a significant health and education burden. An estimated one in 10 Australian children – 13 per cent – have reduced attention capacity, with a cost of approximately $24 billion dollars per annum.
The recent award of an NHMRC Development Grant has made possible the adaptation of an existing attention and cognitive training program for the broad spectrum of attention disorders in childhood.
The Training Attention and Learning Initiative (Tali) training program, trademarked as Tali TrainTM, is an interactive technology that helps to treat attention deficits through training of the core processes of attention.
TALI TrainTM was developed by MICCN researchers in conjunction with industry partners Grey Innovation and Torus Games, Disney Developer of the Year. The program’s suite of training exercises take the form of a portable attention training program that can be delivered via any touch screen tablet. The program design and reward features enhance child engagement to ensure successful progression through the 5-week training course.
Led by MICCN Director, Professor Kim Cornish, in collaboration with Professor Vicki Anderson from the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) the successful project team now aims to adapt and optimise the Tali TrainTM program modules, to extend the program to new populations of children such as those with Traumatic Brain Injuries.
With support of the Development Grant, TALI’s promising results will be extended to children with acquired brain injuries and to typically developing children as they enter school. This gives approximately 75% more children access to the potential benefits of this technology.
“The efficacy of Tali TrainTM on a clinical population of children with intellectual delay has already been demonstrated in a randomised controlled trial,” Professor Cornish said. “We are delighted to have been awarded this very significant grant, and look forward to developing Tali to benefit more children and families across Australia.”
The grant is the biggest of its kind within the Monash Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences.
Dr Hannah Kirk, a Chief Investigator on the Tali team Development Grant and co-inventor of Tali TrainTM, has also been awarded an NHMRC Early Career Fellowship Grant for her work on Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Monash Institute of Cognitive and Clinical Neurosciences – MICNN News 11/10/2017