Executive Attention Skills in Youth Study (EASY)

Brief Description:

The purpose of this research study is to examine executive function, which is how children manage complex or conflicting information while working toward a goal or solving a problem. Many children with ADHD exhibit difficulties with executive control. This project will examine whether brain responses during executive control problems are tied to social problem solving and compare children with ADHD to typically developing children.

Eligibility for Study Participation

7-11 year olds with and without attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. 

Participation Details

Caregivers will complete 1 screening phone call and questionnaires about their child. Children will complete 2 visits to Boston Children’s Hospital. During one of the visits, children will complete EEG, a non-invasive recording of brain activity. 

 All families will receive a feedback report about their child’s development, free parking, childcare for siblings, and up to $40 for participating.

Research Contact:

Rachel Gilbert (Faja Laboratory)

Full Description

Executive function is the ability to manage complex or conflicting information in the service of attaining a goal. It is necessary when conflicting thoughts, feelings, or responses must be resolved or a learned response must be inhibited. Executive functioning skills improve throughout development and encompass a range of interrelated domains, including inhibition, attention regulation, set-shifting and working memory. 

Executive control is often reduced in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Impairment can start in childhood and persists throughout adulthood. The ability to manage conflicting information and perspectives is an important social skill. In particular, the ability to represent the thoughts, beliefs and feelings of others is related to executive control, regardless of language ability and intelligence.