Clinician Resource Center

Attention and Concentration

This module provides creative exercises to train a patient’s visual attention and concentration skills.

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Private Eye

The task

In this task, the patient needs a discriminating eye to must either locate a symbol in a grid full of intricate symbols and letters (intruder) that differs from other symbols (all of which are identical), and catch the sneaky suspect that was shown before starting the task and that does not belong.

What it trains

Primarily, this task exercises the user’s abilities for a specific type of attention called sustained attention and concentration. Attention is the essence of focus and the user will need to focus on looking for a specific target and ignore the symbols that could distract his attention. Any time a person pays attention to something, and any time he/she ignores something, data is created in his/her brain. That data has value, but only if it’s gathered, measured, and analyzed. In addition, this exercise requires good visual scanning and shape recognition skills.

Parameters

A predefined set of levels has been specially selected to ensure an easy start and grant a regular progression.

Ancient Writing

The task

In this exercise, the patient must pay close attention to two sets of characters. His task is to distinguish on the second set the characters that are different from the first set of characters.

What it trains

This exercise primarily stimulates the user’s visual attention and his concentration skills. Indeed, he will have to pinpoint relevant information (differences), visually scan details and keep his mind focused on looking for differences. Whenever a person is presented with a new set of symbols, such as when learning to navigate traffic signs for the first time or when learning a language with a unique alphabet, he/she uses the skills from this activity.

Parameters

A predefined set of levels has been specially selected to ensure an easy start and grant a regular progression.

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Displaced Character

The task

In this exercise, the patient has to attentively observe figures in a list and select in a second list those figures that are not in the first list. At the beginning of the task, both lists will be on the same screen (direct comparison). They will later be on separate screens.

What it trains

This task helps the user to strengthen his visual and spatial perception and his memory by a process of distinguishing visual shapes and differences, as well as similarities amongst the characters. Memory is constantly called upon in varied ways such as to remember a pin code, a phone number, the title of a movie, an appointment, where you put your keys, or a historical event. Finally, the=is exercise also trains his concentration as he must pay attention to fine details in order to avoid confusion or omissions. Memory is needed everywhere in your daily life.

Parameters

A predefined set of levels has been specially selected to ensure an easy start and grant a regular progression.



Chunking

The task

In this exercise, a grid is presented with several geometrical figures inside (circles or/and squares). The patient has to memorize the location of those elements and recall their position afterwards. Like all task for which it is necessary to memorize a great number of information it is essential to be used to grouping these pieces of information into individual categories or logical subcategories.

What it trains

This task trains the subject’s visual and spatial perception and memory. A further aim is to practice his capacity to memorize by developing a strategy and not trying to learn by heart. Due to the vast amount of information he has to memorize, it is wiser to memorize elements by subgroups.

Parameters

A predefined set of levels has been specially selected to ensure an easy start and grant a regular progression.

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Entangled Figures

The task

In this task, the patient sees three entangled objects, which, taken together, make up a more complex figure. These three entangled graphical objects are compared to a multiple choice of similar or different objects that are possible components of the complex entangled figure. He must choose the ones that are part of the entangled figure. Identification is easier when the figures are meaningful (objects, geometrical figures), so details are more relevant than the analysis of the whole figure. However, recognition will be more difficult with abstract figures. Naturally, such a complex task takes great concentration.

What it trains

The exercise trains the user’s visual and spatial skills and his working memory. Indeed, he has to identify the identifying characteristics of an object, store them in his working memory, and then transform the details into a whole by visualizing them in his mind and holding them. He must mentally disentangle the complex figure into its component parts. He also has to pay attention to details as they can help him distinguish the objects.

Parameters

A predefined set of levels has been specially selected to ensure an easy start and grant a regular progression.

 

Pay Attention!

The task

This exercise is about reading/hearing a series of numbers or letters, remembering them, and afterwards, typing them in their original order. Alternatively, depending on the game variant, it may be asked to be asked to type the series in reverse order. Other variants will demand to reproduce the memorized series by numerical or alphabetical order.

What it trains

This exercise calls upon attention skills and working memory. The pre-frontal area of the brain involves the ability to concentrate, attend to incoming information and elaboration of thought. It uses the capacity of immediate repetition or mental manipulation of information. Working memory is a theoretical construct within cognitive psychology that refers to the structures and processes used for temporarily storing and manipulating information. There are numerous theories as to the specific parts of the brain responsible for working memory. However, most researchers agree that the frontal cortex, parietal cortex, anterior cingulate, and parts of the basal ganglia are crucial for functioning. Attention and working memory skills are used when, for example, a telephone number or street address has to be remembered and repeated. Or, when a story has to be recounted starting with the events closest to the present and working backward to the beginning. Or, when trying to organize a group of people into sports teams depending on their skills or a list containing seating arrangements based on each guest’s personality and interests. It’s about all the activities where one has to hold a number of elements in mind and manipulate them in the service of solving a problem.

Parameters

A predefined set of levels has been specially selected to ensure an easy start and grant a regular progression.

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