I should define divided attention. Divided attention is the ability to pay attention to something while blocking out distracting information. Neurologist calls the brain process that gives us the ability to control attention, in the face of interference, our Working Memory. Most neurologist and psychiatrist now agree that the main problem in people with ADHD-PI is a problem with working memory.
Working memory is a confusing term to most of us because when we think of memory we mostly think of remembering and of short term memory and long term memory and consider these to be different from attention. To avoid this confusion, I like to refer to the brain process that allows us to divide and improve our attention not by the name of working memory but rather by the name 'Divided Attention Control' as this makes more sense to me.
It turns out that our 'Divided Attention Control or working memory consists of at least three components. There is a visual and spatial component, a verbal information component and an executive component or management component that works with all this information and allows us to attend and think.
The main problem in people with Predominantly Inattentive ADHD is that we fail to attend to the correct information when there is other information available to attend to. If we were able to improve our attention and to attend to more information at once then we could be bored in math class but still attend to it while we were also attending to the more interesting things that are going on around us, in the other room, out the window or simply in our heads.
It turns out that we can attend to more things if we are properly trained and the cognitive or brain training that I spoke of in the last post can help those of us with Predominantly Inattentive ADHD extend the capacity of our 'Divided Attention Center'.
Most of the research performed on improving working memory has used a training program called the Dual N-Back. This program consists of audio and visual cues that are presented to you if different places and at different times and that you must respond to. The program starts by giving you two audio and two visual signals and as you improve (or worsen in performance) it increases or decreases the number of signals that you are to respond to. Using this Dual N-Back program for 20 minutes, 5 days a week for 6 weeks has been found to improve a person's ability to divide their attention significantly and the benefits have been found to be lasting.
I like this free Dual N-Back programs because it is not only free but it is also much more visually interesting than the other free Dual N-Back program that I have spoken about in previous posts. This is the link to the free attention strengthening program is made by a company called Soak Your Head. Read the directions and watch the demo before beginning because otherwise you will not have a clue what you are supposed to be doing.
Improving the attention of people with ADHD Predominantly Inattentive involves improving their ability to divide their attention. Training with the free Dual N-Back program improves our attention increasing our ability to pay close attention to many things at once.