Play Attention

Overview of Play Attention


Research has shown that strong cognitive and executive function skills help children excel both in school and in life. Creating a strong foundation for these skills early will help your child succeed from the start.

Cognitive Skills

  • Cognitive skills are the core skills your brain uses to process stimuli and allows us to think, read, learn, remember, reason, and pay attention.
  • Working together, they take incoming information and move it into the bank of knowledge you use every day at school, at work, and in life.
  • The specific cognitive skills that Play Attention focuses on are attention, memory, perception, processing, processing speed, logic and reasoning.

Executive Functions

  • EF skills are “higher order thinking patterns” that we all use to successfully navigate the world we live in.
  • These skills include planning and prioritizing, working memory, task initiation, organization, impulse control, emotional control, self-monitoring, and flexible thinking.

Combined, these skills allow us to succeed in learning, keeping still, problem solving, reading, thinking, remembering (memory), not fidgeting, paying attention.

  • When we see problems with these outward behaviors, we need to work on developing both the cognitive and executive function skills.

Play Attention is a brain training program where we work side by side with your child to develop their cognitive and executive function skills using a game-based platform that kids enjoy and find exciting. It utilizes cutting edge technology to noninvasively measure your child’s level of focus while engaging them in exercises geared to improve their cognitive and executive function skills.


Play Attention FAQs

What is Play Attention?

Play Attention is a simple form of neurofeedback used to help people manage and improve symptoms of ADHD. It is a process that uses information about real-time brain activity in order to change brain activity in the moment and to improve patterns of functioning over time. Realtime information about brain activity is converted into a sequence of visual exercises/games on a computer screen. The person engaging in Play Attention engages in a particular type of focus which allows the game on the screen to continue. This in-the-moment feedback loop essentially allows one’s brain to receive information about its functioning and “adjust” brainwave patterns to promote the frequencies associated with a higher level of focus thus completing the game on the screen. Play Attention is intended to facilitate changes in brain functioning patterns over time.

Is Play Attention an invasive treatment? What are sessions like?

There are different types of neurofeedback, but they are all non-invasive procedures. Play Attention is a simple form of neurofeedback. The only hardware used in Play Attention neurofeedback is an armband transmitter which typically rests on one’s forearm during the session. The transmitter receives information about one’s in-the-moment functioning and transmits this information to the computer where the information is translated into a visual game.

What does a Play Attention session look like?

The first session consists of an intake during which you will also receive an overview of the Play Attention system. The following sessions will all include a combination of neurofeedback and discussion of your experience with the treatment, your progress, and changes in your functioning.

What is the duration of treatment?

Play Attention neurofeedback may yield some initial results relatively quickly, but many people see marked results after approximately 10 hours of training and the results of treatment generalize after approximately 40 hours of training. Although it is advisable to complete 40 hours of treatment, it is always up to you to decide how much or how little treatment you want to undertake. You do not have to commit to 40 hours of treatment at once.

How many times per week should I train with Play Attention?

A general rule of thumb is that one should receive approximately 60 minutes of training per week and preferably in more than one session (e.g., 2 sessions x 30 minutes = 60 minutes).

Is there anything I will be required to do between sessions?

The goal of Play Attention is to modify one’s brainwave patterns over time, which will also change behavioral patterns as well. It is important to continue to discuss these changes with your clinician on a weekly basis.

How is Play Attention different from other cognitive enhancement games, e.g., games available as phone apps?

All cognitive enhancement games have the potential to support one’s cognitive gains. However, the key difference between Play Attention and the other games is the use of the transmitter armband which allows for real-time feedback about the brain activity in the moment.

What is the cost of Play Attention sessions?

Play Attention cannot be billed as a standalone service under health insurance. However, if you are already receiving psychotherapy with me, I can offer a discounted rate for neurofeedback during the course of psychotherapy. Please contact me for more details.

Is Play Attention an evidence supported treatment?

Play Attention has been studied through randomized controlled trials and has shown to be an effective treatment in addressing symptoms associated with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. For more information, please visit the Play Attention website: http://playattention.com/index.php/our-program/clinical-studies

Which conditions does Play Attention help with?

Play Attention was designed, studied, and tested as a treatment option for ADHD. As such, it helps to manage symptoms of hyperactivity and inattention. Some gains in other areas of functioning may be observed, but have not been extensively studied.


Executive Function Skills


Click here learn more about Executive Function Skills.


For parents, click this presentation to learn more about Play Attention.

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