Brain Connection Involved with Turning On and Off Day Dreaming, Slow To Develop In Kids With ADHD

In Brain, Neuroplasticity, Neuroplasticity and Education, Parenting, Success by DC McGuireLeave a Comment

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Past images of brain structures showed that the brains of people with ADHD mature later than those of people without the condition. Now researchers making use of collected data have found that the growth of connections within and between key brain networks in children with ADHD lags behind what happens in other kids the same age.
The results, published September 14, 2014Piece of Puzzle in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, by Chandra Sripada, University of Michigan, point to a reduced ability among children with ADHD to turn on and off the networks inside the brain that are involved in control and attention. The brain connections that normally help children focus simply aren’t as developed. The area, called the default network, is responsible for our stream of consciousness, or daydreaming. It turns on when we’re not actively engaged in tasks and turns off when we’re busy.
Without this ability, researchers suspect that children can’t focus on tasks or think further into the future. Their daydreaming network interrupts the area of their brain working on tasks, causing a loss of attention.
Philip Shaw, an ADHD researcher at the National Institutes for Health and unaffiliated with the study says, “We know the connections within the brain are very plastic … treatments could work by boosting these connections.”
Like muscle groups, areas of the brain respond to being “exercised” through therapies such as neurofeedback and computer-generated training. Utilizing the brain’s natural neuroplasticity, it is possible to “work out” targeted areas of neural weakness or misfiring to make big turn-arounds in behavior and cognition.

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