Computerized Attention Training for Individuals With Acquired Brain Injury

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT01641432
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : July 16, 2012
Last Update Posted : July 22, 2014
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Posit Science Corporation

Brief Summary:
Problems with attention are a common and debilitating consequence of brain injury. Studies show that poor attention is the number one predictor of poor cognitive functioning one year post-injury. This is due to the fact that attention is a necessary component of more complex cognitive functions such as learning & memory, multi-tasking and problem solving. In many cases, individuals may exhibit problems with spatial attention known as 'hemi-spatial neglect syndrome' or simply 'neglect'. Many studies now show that the processing machinery of the brain is plastic and remodeled throughout life by learning and experience, enabling the strengthening of cognitive skills or abilities. The investigators own research has shown that brief, daily computerized cognitive training that is sufficiently challenging, goal-directed and adaptive enables intact brain structures to restore balance in attention and compensate for disruptions in cognitive functioning.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Acquired Brain Injury Stroke Hemispatial Neglect Behavioral: Tonic and Phasic Attention Training Behavioral: Active Comparator Phase 1

Detailed Description:
Participants will first engage in an assessment process to determine current level of cognitive function. This process consists of paper-pencil surveys and computerized tests. Following the assessment process, participants will engage in Internet browser-delivered training sessions conducted on any internet-accessible computer. These trainings can be done up to 7 times a week (once a day) or at participant's convenience (the investigators recommend 4-5 times a week). Following the completion of training, participant's cognitive function will be re-assessed. Participation is voluntary and participants may withdraw from the study at any time.

Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 27 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double (Participant, Care Provider)
Official Title: Computerized Cognitive Treatment of Vigilance Deficits in Individuals With Acquired Brain Injury
Study Start Date : July 2011
Actual Primary Completion Date : July 2013

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: TAPAT
Computerized Tonic and Phasic Attention training consisting of visual, auditory, and spatial stimuli that requires sustained attention (24 minutes). Training is followed by a computerized cognitive exercise (12 minutes).
Behavioral: Tonic and Phasic Attention Training

The Tonic and Phasic Alertness treatment task (TAPAT) consist of two consecutive rounds of a 12-minute continuous performance task in which continually varying, rich visual (e.g., scenes, objects, faces) or auditory stimuli (tones or complex sounds) are briefly displayed and participants are required to respond via a button press when they see a non-target item (90% of trials) or withhold button-press responding when the item is a pre-determined target item (10% of trials). Presentation of the target item is non-predictive and infrequent, disallowing the development of an executive strategy. Participants simply sustain attention to the task over a prolonged period of time (tonic attention), ignoring distractions, and inhibiting the pre-potent motor response when they see a target item (phasic attention).

Following the 24 minutes of TAPAT treatment participants will undergo one additional computer-based cognitive exercise, Multiple Object Tracking (MOT), for an additional 12 minutes.

Active Comparator: Active Comparator
Computerized conventional board-games that lack the therapeutic effect of the TAPAT exercises. Active control has stimulus parameters similar to the TAPAT exercises (eg. stimuli is presented on the computer, participant responses are collected, session time and improvement is measured).
Behavioral: Active Comparator
Computer games chosen from a list of progressive visual/audiovisual games from the top-100 game list: Training duration will be similar to that of experimental training.

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Attention and Memory [ Time Frame: 6 months ]
    Percent change on standardized measures of attention and executive function (all participants) using the ASCAN, Attentional Blink, Attention Capture Task, Landmark task, Conjunction Search task, SART, Verbal Fluency, CVLT-II, D-KEFS Stroop, and LNS assessments.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   21 Years to 80 Years   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No


  1. Participants must 21 years or older and not pregnant as indicated by self-report
  2. Participant must be fluent in English (indicated by self-report)
  3. Participant must be able to engage with computerized cognitive tasks as indicated by investigator's opinion after 30 minutes of computer interaction
  4. Participants should have no history of chronic psychiatric or neurological condition (preceding the current insult) as indicated by self-report
  5. Normal vision (or corrected to normal vision) as indicated by self-report
  6. Participants must be willing to commit to the time requirements of the study as evidenced by written, informed consent.
  7. Evidence of hemispatial neglect and/ or vigilance decline on at least one standard measure (e.g., A-SCAN).


  1. Participants report or present a hand tremor that prevents the use of a computer mouse or keyboard, in the opinion of the evaluating Principal or Sub-Investigator.
  2. Unable to perform neuropsychological evaluations in the opinion of the evaluating Principal or Sub-Investigator.
  3. In the opinion of the consenting staff person, the participant cannot comprehend, follow instructions, or is incapable of providing written, informed consent.
  4. In the opinion of the consenting staff person, participant is not capable of giving informed consent and does not have a Legal Authorized Representative.
  5. History of recurrent psychiatric impairment as indicated by self-report.
  6. History of drug or alcohol abuse as indicated by self-report.
  7. History of significant medical diseases or multiple neurological events of the head as indicated by self-report.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT01641432

United States, California
Brain Plasticity Institute
San Francisco, California, United States, 94104
Sponsors and Collaborators
Posit Science Corporation

Responsible Party: Posit Science Corporation Identifier: NCT01641432     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: BPI-1002-2011
First Posted: July 16, 2012    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: July 22, 2014
Last Verified: July 2014

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Wounds and Injuries
Brain Injuries
Perceptual Disorders
Brain Diseases
Central Nervous System Diseases
Nervous System Diseases
Craniocerebral Trauma
Trauma, Nervous System
Neurobehavioral Manifestations
Neurologic Manifestations
Signs and Symptoms