Published Research on BrainHQ and Attention

The ability to focus your attention on what matters—and equally important, to ignore what doesn’t—is even more important than you might think. When you can focus your attention on a conversation (while filtering out distracting background noise) and on the visual world around you (so you can quickly spot what you need and dismiss what you don’t), it helps you feel sharp, connected, and on top. What’s more, focusing your attention helps your brain pump chemicals that improve learning and memory.

It’s essential that your brain decide what it notices, learns, and remembers, and what it can let go. For example, if you’re taking a Spanish class, you want to be able to focus on what the teacher tells you so you can respond to it and learn it. You don’t want the distracting conversation other students are having next to you to prevent you from learning what the teachers says, nor do you have any need to remember that conversation. Focusing your attention is essential for success in the class.

Unfortunately, attentional focus is something that can suffer as part of normal aging or for a variety of other reasons. But multiple papers on BrainHQ exercises have now shown that training with BrainHQ can improve attention, both by helping you focus and by helping you filter out what doesn’t matter to you. Among other things, these studies have shown that using certain BrainHQ exercises can:

  • significantly change brain behavior in ways that improve selective visual attention (paying attention to important information and filtering out unimportant information)
  • improve spatial attention
In general, these studies were conducted in cognitively healthy adults aged 65 and older, and in some cases, aged 50 and older. Where published studies make reference to clinical populations, it is for informational purposes only. BrainHQ is not intended to diagnose or treat any clinical condition.

Information and citations for research on the effects of BrainHQ exercises on attention

In general, these studies were conducted in cognitively healthy adults aged 65 and older, and in some cases, aged 50 and older. Where published studies make reference to clinical populations, it is for informational purposes only. BrainHQ is not intended to diagnose or treat any clinical condition.
  • “Modulation of non-spatial attention and the global/local processing bias”
    Published in: Neuropsychologia
    Lead author: Thomas M. Van Vleet, PhD, Northern California VA Healthcare System
    View article
  • “Neural plasticity underlying visual perceptual learning in aging”
    Published in: Brain Research
    Lead author: Jyoti Mishra, PhD, University of California, San Francisco
    View abstract
  • “Cognitive training and selective attention in the aging brain: An electrophysiological study”
    Published in: Clinical Neurophysiology
    Lead author: Jennifer L. O’Brien, PhD, University of South Florida
    View abstract
  • “Cross-training in hemispatial neglect: Auditory sustained attention training ameliorates visual attention deficits”
    Published in: Cortex
    Lead authors: Thomas M. Van Vleet, PhD, Northern California VA Healthcare System, Joseph M. DeGutis, PhD, Boston VA Healthcare System
    View abstract
  • “Tonic and phasic alertness training: A novel behavioral therapy to improve spatial and non-spatial attention in patients with hemispatial neglect”
    Published in: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
    Lead authors: Joseph M. DeGutis, PhD, Boston VA Healthcare System, Thomas M. Van Vleet, PhD, Northern California VA Healthcare System
    View article
  • “The neural correlates of an expanded functional field of view”
    Published in: Journals of Gerontology, Series B
    Lead author: Paige Scalf, PhD, University of Arizona
    View abstract
  • “Neural plastic effects of cognitive training on aging brain”
    Published in: Neural Plasticity
    Lead Author: Natalie T.Y. Leung, The University of Hong Kong
    View abstract