This is shown in new research at Stockholm University. A study soon to be published in the scientific journal Psychological Review, and serving as the basis of a new dissertation, shows that concentration and memory are improved for such children when they listen to auditory noise while learning.
“The discovery is surprising, since previous research has indicated that children with ADHD are easily disturbed in distracting environments,” says Göran Söderlund, a former teacher, today a doctoral student at the Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, who performed this research, together with Associate Professor Sverker Sikström of Lund University, also in Sweden.
A control group of children without ADHD nevertheless performed better in silence. The researchers explain the difference in how noise affects the memory by pointing to how the signal substance dopamine controls the brain’s activity. Children with ADHD have a low level of dopamine and therefore have low brain activity. Noise serves to stimulate the brain just enough for it to function better. Children without ADHD, on the other hand, have considerably more dopamine and higher brain activity. For these children, noise can even be damaging, since their brain is disturbed by too much irrelevant stimulation, which lowers their ability to concentrate and remember things.
A follow-up study shows that the positive effects of noise are not limited to children with ADHD but also help normal schoolchildren who are somewhat below average. At the same time, this study showed that high-achievement children performed less well in the presence of noise. This is also explained by the fact that below-average children normally have lower levels of dopamine than high-achievers.
“The conclusion is that noise is generally taken to raise low dopamine levels, thereby improving concentration and school achievement in children with ADHD but also for below-average achievers in general,” says Göran Söderlund.
“The conclusions we draw from our model are actually relatively easy to transfer to practical situations. The model helps us understand children with concentration problems and serves as a simple tool to adapt the school environment to children with ADHD.”
“It provides a scientific basis for treatment of a problem complex linked to concentration difficulties, as in ADHD, and can be a complement to pharmacological treatment,” says Göran Söderlund.
Low dopamine levels are one of several characteristics of ADHD, but they also occur in Parkinson’s disease and in normal aging. Other patient groups with memory problems may also benefit from these findings.
Göran Söderlund will also be submitting his thesis to the Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, based on the research behind the article. His doctoral dissertation. Noise Improves Cognitive Performance in Children with Dysfunctional Dopaminergic Neurotransmission, will be publicly defended at the Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, on September 21, 2007.
Maria Erlandsson | alfa
The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft
Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
22.09.2017 | Life Sciences
22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering
22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy