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Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 4R42MH077378-02
Agency Tracking Number: MH077378
Amount: $518,628.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2007
Award Year: 2007
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
United States
DUNS: 137091000
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 (781) 642-0153
Business Contact
Phone: (781) 893-9436
Research Institution

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Clinicians and investigators alike rely on tests of attention and memory in a host of fields--among them psychology, neurology, psychiatry, pediatrics, gerontology, and epidemiology. Yet 1 segment of the population has been passed by in these assessment efforts: individuals who have limited verbal communication abilities, a group that includes persons with mental retardation, patients with neurologic damage (e.g., traumatic brain injury and dementia), and typically-developing children who are preverbal. Though some behavioral evaluations (e.g., of intelligence, achievement, and social behavior) have been administered to groups with intellectual limitations, most standard tests of memory and attention in neuropsychology do not exist for this group. This is most likely attributable to the fact that these persons often require (1) additional non-verbal instruction in how to perform these tasks, (2) simplified formats of presentation earmarked for them, and (3) the means of establishing and maintaining stimulus control. Our objective is to directly address these requirements, creating for the first time an extensive, user-friendly software battery of tasks developed for individuals with limited verbal abilities. In order to create this battery --Tests of Attention and Memory (TAM) for Individuals with Intellectual Limitations --we have identified paradigms that meet scientific scrutiny and utilize a neurocognitive framework, starting here with assessments of frontal lobe function. Our approach has been to adopt specific paradigms that have been well-established in basic and clinical laboratory settings, and in which our Behavioral Technology Group at the Shriver Center has specialized over its 30-year history. This initiative is the culmination of our longstanding program on behavior analytic research and software engineering in collaboration with Praxis, Inc. In Phase I of this STTR fast-track project, we will begin formal development of software for the TAM. This battery includes modules for the assessment of sustained attention, attentional shifting, delayed non- matching to sample, and delayed recognition span, linked to a common platform. A major focus of this phase of development is the creation and evaluation of User-Interface modules. The end product is slated to provide testing protocols for clinical use, along with design flexibility that meets rigorous experimental analytic standards.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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