Finally! a drug-free 'game' that is proven to improve ADHD symptoms and behaviours!
Focus Pocus works by harnessing the power of MindWave EEG technology. Neurofeedback principles are used to exercise attention and relaxation psychological (“state” factors) by teaching users how to control them. The MindWave EEG device provides information about the current level of attention (ranging from high to low) with games designed to encourage and reward control. Importantly, the games also promote awareness and control of relaxation (ranging from calm to tense) and the combination of the two – called “Zen” – focused attention while calm is the ideal state for learning.
But as far as your child is concerned, they are simply playing games to help them develop their skills of Wizardry! And while the games within Focus Pocus are engaging and fun, they also exercise important psychological processes that underlie our ability to control our own behaviour; Our ability to self-regulate our impulses, focus our attention and develop our working-memory. Focus Pocus trains the cognitive skills that enable learning to to happen in the classroom and in life.
How does Focus Pocus work??
Focus Pocus offers users an opportunity to exercise important psychological processes such as attention, working memory and impulse control, with a view to improve them. These processes underlie behavioural control, and improving them may result in improved behaviour. The software monitors performance and adjusts the level of difficulty accordingly to constantly challenge the user to improve.
Are the state control exercises in Focus Pocus safe?
Our level of attention and relaxation varies frequently - every few seconds. The state control exercises in Focus Pocus allow the user to become aware of their current state, and to gain a certain level of control of it over time based on this feedback. The exercises are short duration, and randomly vary between Focus (attention), Relax (relaxation) and Zen (the combination of the attention and relaxation). This variety results in genuine awareness, flexibility and control, rather than just learning a response to a stimulus, making transfer of this new awareness and control easier in day-to-day activities.
It is important to note that there are no known side effects from other similar applications using EEG-based attention/relaxation training – these applications often target a single goal (e.g. "increase attention") over an extended period of time (say, 10 minutes).
The short duration attention exercises in Focus Pocus are similar to other activities that children engage in daily (e.g. playing video games, doing homework) in the way that they increase attention, and do not place children at any risk. The variety of exercises types (i.e. Focus, Relax and Zen) ensures that children do a mix of attention focussing and relaxing when playing Focus Pocus.
The working memory and impulse control exercises passively monitor Focus in the background and are such are 100% safe.
How does Focus Pocus differ from other similar products?
• Focus Pocus is easy to use, with a very high quality interface and research proven hardware, and yet is low cost. Other similar products can cost 4 to 5 times as much, use low quality graphics and do not use EEG devices with proven qualities.
• The games are engaging and fun with lots of variety and a unifying theme. They were developed using research-based principles by experienced game developers to keep kids interested and having fun!
• Focus Pocus brings together cognitive and state-regulation exercises in one package, and was designed by PhD qualified experts in the area.
• The application can be carried out at home at a time that suits your family.
• Daily reports are available, as well as a comprehensive report on achievements and outcomes, and all data is saved. Other packages do not offer this level of reporting on both cognitive and EEG measures.
Version 2.1 (dated 25/08/11)
• Originating out of the University system itself, NeuroCog has a strong commitment to research through its research partner, The University of Wollongong (Australia).
• The MindWave EEG headset is easy-to-use and measures EEG from the source (i.e. the brain). Other systems claim to be able to measure EEG from locations other than the scalp, with no evidence for this in the scientific literature.
• The MindWave can be used with many other entertainment and educational applications. Other devices are single-purpose, designed only to work specifically with one software package.
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