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NIDA announces 2010 Addiction Science Award winners at Intel ISEF
Date:5/14/2010

hael Knight, a junior at Collegiate High School at Northwest Florida State College in Niceville, Fla. submitted the entry. As a student diagnosed with ADHD who had difficulties with the side effects of stimulant medication, Knight wanted to identify other ways to treat the attention and memory problems ADHD causes. He asked whether it is possible to use specialized computer programs to re-train the brains of students with ADHD, either as an alternative or as a complement to the stimulant medications typically prescribed to treat ADHD. The results of his pilot study suggest that some cognitive games could be useful as an adjunct to currently available ADHD medication.

Third place went to Joseph Hunter Yagoda, a 17-year-old student at the William A. Shine Great Neck High School in Great Neck, N.Y. for his analysis of the thought process that goes into a teenager's decision to cut classes at school. For "Risky Business: What Cognitive Factors Influence Risk Taking in the Academic Setting?" the risk of class cutting was modeled by an innovative simulation mimicking a prototypical classroom. Following the risk scenario, he measured his subjects' perceptions of the risks of skipping class. His project concluded that schools should increase the benefits of attending class, have clear enforcement of consequences, and minimize the perception that "everyone cuts class."

"Our second and third place winners showed enormous enthusiasm for using a sound scientific process to solve problems that they or their friends contend with," said Dr. Cindy Miner, NIDA's chief ISEF judge and deputy director of NIDA's Office of Science Policy and Communications. "These are important issues since we know that succeeding in school is crucial for future achievement, and is also a preventive factor for drug abuse and related health problems. We were thrilled that these brilliant young people already understand how science is key to solving these kinds of challenging social
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Contact: Jeff Levine
media@nida.nih.gov
301-443-6245
NIH/National Institute on Drug Abuse
Source:Eurekalert

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