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Advances in Neuroscience Offer A New Way to Beat Test Anxiety

Posted by Amy Serin on

An Arizona Neuropsychologist's groundbreaking discovery of how the brain's stress response works has led to a paradigm shift in how to address test anxiety.

Dr. Amy Serin discovered BLAST (bi-lateral alternating stimulation delivered tactile) technology. By embedding into a wearable device called the TouchPoints, users can overcome debilitating test anxiety. Simply put the TouchPoints on during test prep and before and during exams. The unique vibrations the TouchPoints give to users allow alter the body's stress response allowing the higher thinking executive functions to operate without the hindrance of the fight or fight response system (F3).

This video below highlights how an Arizona State University Student used TouchPoints during exams and to cope with the overall stress of college. 

 

Test Anxiety has been plaguing people for years. In 1908  Robert Yerkes and John Dodson quantified what too much (or not enough) stress can do to overall performance during tasks; Yerkes-Dodson Law (Diamond et al., 2007). 

 Yerkes- Dodson Law

Ideally, to excel during things like exams, we want to hover right around that middle line where the amount of “stress” in our lives is mild to moderate and our performance can be at its peak.“Good stress” is just enough to perform but when the body activates too much of it, performance suffers.  This has to do with too much sympathetic nervous system arousal which then starts to shut down the higher order thinking functions that help us plan, organize, and maintain control in favor of lower level reptilian brain stuff like reactivity, impulsivity, and reduced motor control.   Striking the balance, or what neuroscientists call homeostasis, is critical for our mental and physical well-being and optimal performance.  

 

Want to perform well on tests?  Try TouchPoints! If you feel stressed when you are studying and then try them just before a test to calm your anxiety or even during tests to keep you in the zone. 

Test Anxiety

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Comments


  • Hi Diane! Yes the Buzzies work for kids with ADHD!

    1. Our users with ADHD on medication report that Buzzies help them either during homework or at night when the medication wears off. Sometimes there is a “reboud” effect of hyperactivity and/or agitation and using the Buzzies during this time for about 20 minutes seems to lessen these effects. We are collaborating with PEARSON using a state of the art ADHD testing method called Quotient to prove that Buzzies reduce hyperactivity in ADHD children and can also help others without ADHD not need to squirm or move so much so they can focus better.

    2. Sometimes ADHD medication can make it hard for users to fall asleep at night. Using Buzzies for 15 minutes before sleep seems to help the body move more towards parasympathetic activity (your rest and digest nervous system) vs. sympathetic activity (your fight, flight, or freeze (F3) system) and can faciliate faster onset of sleep. This can also work with people who in general can’t “turn their minds off” or feel to hyped up to fall asleep quickly.

    3. Many classroom interventions for ADHD simply prompt a child to focus and they have to consciously choose to focus. Then they don’ t know when their attention drifts again and in the meantime they may be squirmy or needing to move excessively. Using Buzzies during the school day could help lessen the motor activity when a child is sitting and can possibly improve focus in a passive manner so the child doesn’t have to think about something and try to shift his or her attention. The passive interference the Buzzies create is a huge advantage to other methods of ‘stop and think’ interventions- especially when we expect teachers to have to facilitate those shifts in a child. Teachers already have so much to manage that taking away something they have to do like nonverbal prompts or redirecting can really help them with classroom management.

    4. Many people with ADHD are also irritable and have a hard time not becoming emotional when upset. Buzzies can help prevent excessive emotional distress and possibly help them stop themselves before they say something hurtful or have a tantrum. If this does happen, Buzzies can help them return more quickly to a baseline of calm after the fact.

    5. Parents of kids with ADHD need Buzzies! It’s difficult to redirect, give directions that aren’t followed, and manage the behaviors. If parents are wearing Buzzies, they should be more likely to not overreact or become frustrated and can calmly help their children with everyday tasks that might be difficult.

    6. We are not claiming Buzzies are a treatment for ADHD. Comprehensive treatment can include medication, behavioral interventions, and neuromodulation. For more information, you can check out these links: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2011/10/14/peds.2011-2654 or http://www.isnr.org/catalog-1/if5zb3hx69/American-Academy-of-Pediatrics-lists-Neurofeedback-as-Level-1-Research-Best-supported-Interventions

    Thank you!

    The TouchPoint Solution on
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    Brett E Williams on
  • Does this work with ADHD kids with higher anixity

    Diane paquin on

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