Thinking speed, or processing speed, is a term that describes how quickly an individual can mentally process information. Processing speed has been shown to be closely connected to aspects of memory and intelligence, and is sensitive to many kinds of brain dysfunction as well as medication effects.

Traditionally, processing speed is measured by timing how quickly a child can use their hands to do a paper and pencil task. This type of measurement is obviously not appropriate for children with significant motor impairments. In contrast, our processing speed studies examine the length of time a picture needs to be shown in order for a child to accurately perceive it. We control the length of time through a computer program where children respond using assistive technology.

We hoped to show that through our adapted techniques, processing speed can be accurately measured in children with significant speech and motor impairments. This will allow for better measurement of a child’s cognitive abilities over time and in response to different medical interventions as well as appropriate planning for education services.

The following are links to .pdf versions of posters containing results from the Processing Speed research project. Please visit this link for a comprehensive collection of presentations and publications from all of the M-ACAL studies.
 
Visual Inspection Time and Graphomotor Processing Speed in Children with Cerebral Palsy. Annual meeting of the International Neuropsychological Society, 2010.
 
Moderators of Standard and Modified Inspection Times in Children with Cerebral Palsy. Annual meeting of the International Neuropsychological Society, 2010.
 
Sleep Disturbance and Inspection Time in Children with Cerebral Palsy. Annual meeting of the International Neuropsychological Society, 2010.
 
Modified Assessment of Inspection Time in Children with Cerebral Palsy. Annual meeting of the International Neuropsychological Society, 2009.
 
Measurement of ADHD Symptoms in Children with Cerebral Palsy. 2009.

Processing Speed Research was funded by: U.S. Department of Education, National Insitute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, NIH R21 HD057344-01