Facebook pixel
Go to home page

New Hope for Executive Function and Reasoning Remediation in Children With ADHD: Strategic Memory and Reasoning Training (SMART)

Children with backpacks hiking in autumn forest and helping one another climb a large rock.

Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience

Jacquelyn Gamino, Sandra Chapman, John Hart, Sandra Vanegas, Elizabeth Hull and Lori Cook

Read the conference program


Despite the fact that attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) plagues millions of children with daily learning struggles, interventions are predominantly centered around mitigating behavioral issues rather than treatment of the learning challenges themselves. In turn, little is known about the remediation of learning impairment, which is something that can potentially be addressed through a metacognitive training program. Researchers sought to address this void by administering a strategic learning program to fifty children with ADHD. Strategic learning refers to the ability to extract the ‘gist’ from a body of information and manipulate these broader concepts using abstraction. For example, if a child were to read a body of text and formulate (in their own words) a one-sentence summary of what they just read, they would be employing mechanisms involved in gist reasoning. What researchers found was that for the participants that underwent strategic learning training, performance significantly improved in areas of working memory, initiation, organization of materials, behavioral regulation, and metacognition. This study provides the first known evidence that teaching children with ADHD specific metacognitive strategies has the potential to improve strategic learning and executive function.

Share this article

Jacquelyn Gamino, PhD

Director of Adolescent Reasoning Initiative Assistant Research Professor

Sandra Bond Chapman, PhD

Chief Director Dee Wyly Distinguished Professor, School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences Co-Leader, The BrainHealth Project


SMART Brain Training

Take a scientific approach to leadership development. Our brains are adaptable and trainable, driven by how we engage every day. In the same way that we can improve our bodies through physical fitness, we can increase our focus, creativity and mental efficiency with targeted strategies and healthy brain habits.