increase attention span

Multitasking test tools may increase attention span.  

The software tools that are used to both test and increase attention span are also useful for improving the ability of adults and children with Predominantly Inattentive ADHD to divide our attention and to screen out distracting information. 

The main problem for people with ADHD predominantly inattentive (ADHD-PI) is what neurologist call working memory deficits. This term does not refer to our ability to remember it refers to what I call "divided attention capacity". A Multitasking test tool may help increase attention span by improving our divided attention capacity.

Multitasking is the ability to attend to more than one thing. It has gotten a bad reputation these days especially given that many people try to do more than one thing at once while they are driving, caring for young children, or performing other dangerous activities. The most reported danger of multitasking involves cell phone use and driving. This is not the type of multitasking that I am referring to. I am referring to the ability to divide your attention between information that is coming from two or more different sources.

For those of us with ADHD Predominantly Inattentive symptoms it is important that we increase attention span for both incoming verbal and visual information. Multitasking test tools help increase attention span by strengthening the parts of our brain, the pre-frontal cortex, that control our ability to divide attention.

Brain training is a multi-million dollar industry because people with ADHD Predominantly Inattentive are not the only people needing a multitasking test tool to help to increase attention span. The multitasking test tools that are use to both test and increase attention span and have been found useful for improving the divided attention capacity of aging and teenage drivers. The American Automobile Association (AAA) has even endorsed the use of these software tools because they have been found to decrease motor vehicle accidents.

Two companies have software tools that help increase attention span and that improve divided attention. They are called Drive Sharp and Cognifit MindFit and they cost about $80.00 to $95.00. Both these software programs are made by very reputable companies and they have both been tested and found to be effective in increasing attention span.

There are three other sites that have multitasking test tools that are free and that have also been found to increase attention span. While the more expensive programs have more bells and whistles, I have found the free multitasking test tools to be quite addictive and almost fun. My favorite is the Icy Lime multitasking test tool  but I have found all of the free tools useful for increasing attention span.

Many neurologists believe that the main problem in people with ADHD Predominantly Inattentive is a deficit of working memory which impairs their ability to divide attention among competing bits of verbal and auditory stimulation. The three free multitasking tests tools available online are: DualTask, TaskSwitching and IcyLime.

Performing the tasks on the multitasking test tools that I have discussed can reinforce our working memory and increase attention span. Those of us with ADHD Predominantly Inattentive and with children who have ADHD-PI should make these tools a part of our ADHD treatment plan.


  1. Hi Tess. Do you have any references to studies that mention multitask test tools and adhd-pi?

  2. Yes, Thanks so much for your excellent question!! It was such a great question that I went ahead and wrote an entire post to address the answer. It is entitled ADHD-PI symptoms are improved by working memory training. I have the study citations there.

    Thanks again! Tess


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