ADHD Promise and Challenges

Over the past few decades, cognitive scientists have found that small alterations in how people study can accelerate and deepen learning, improving retention and comprehension in a range of subjects, including math, science and foreign languages.

The findings come almost entirely from controlled laboratory experiments of individual students, but they are reliable enough that software developers, government-backed researchers and various other innovators are racing to bring them to classrooms, boardrooms, academies — every real-world constituency, it seems, except one that could benefit most: people with learning disabilities.

Now, two new studies explore the effectiveness of one common cognitive science technique — the so-called testing effect — for people with attention-deficit problems, one of the most commonly diagnosed learning disabilities.

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