Grabbing attention to raise awareness of ADHD

The Attention Grabber screen at the Broadway
02 Sep 2014 17:06:06.773
PA 223/14

A new interactive game and educational video is set to tour Nottingham and London to raise public awareness and understanding of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults.

The ‘Attention Grabber’ game tests people’s attention and raises awareness about ADHD, a neurodevelopmental condition with symptoms which include inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. Around 3–5% of school-aged children are thought to have ADHD and, for the majority, ADHD continues into adult life.

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New tech for healthcare

The Attention Grabber will be rolled out for use by the public through the Screens in the Wild project, a partnership between The University of Nottingham and University College London. A network of four interactive screens — two in Nottingham (at the Broadway Cinema and New Art Exchange) and two in London (Leytonstone Library and ‘The Mill’ community centre, Walthamstow) - have been set-up to investigate how media screens located in urban spaces can be designed to benefit public life.

The NIHR MindTech HTC, based in the Institute of Mental Health in the University of Nottingham Innovation Park, is a national centre focussing on the development of new technology for mental healthcare. The team has worked alongside the adult ADHD clinic within Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust to develop the game and integrate information related to ADHD.

Members of the public are invited to visit any of the four screens to play the Attention Grabber game, which involves flashing images of fruit and the game player being asked to select the banana and ignore other fruit. It will be showing on the screens from 3.30pm each afternoon. The game tests players’ ability to focus on the task and ignore the impulse to select other fruit as they flash by. Players can compete to achieve the highest score on their screen and against the highest scores on the other screens. Players are then invited to watch a two-minute film about living with adult ADHD to raise their awareness of this often stigmatised condition.

Serious message

Dr Alinda Gillott, consultant clinical psychologist at the adult ADHD clinic with Nottinghamshire Healthcare, said: “This is an exciting and innovative collaboration with the ‘Screens in the Wild’ and NIHR MindTech HTC teams to raise public awareness of ADHD in adults. The game is interactive and fun but has a serious message about the impact of living with ADHD. This is a great opportunity for us to raise public awareness and reduce stigma related to ADHD in adults.”

Michael Craven, senior research fellow for the NIHR MindTech HTC technology theme, said: “We adapted the game from an app we’d originally designed for ADHD mobile self-monitoring on smartphones. The Screens in the Wild platform has allowed us to be creative and produce an experience that we hope will be engaging for the public and fun to play. Also, since Game City and the Interactive Technologies and Games Conference is taking place in Nottingham in October, we hope to showcase Attention Grabber to game developers who will be visiting the city.”

Attention Grabber will be launched at the Broadway Cinema on Thursday 4 September at 4pm. It will then be available to play daily in all four screen locations, at the following times:

For further information please see:

Or contact:
Michael Craven (Senior Research Fellow, University of Nottingham) on +44 (0) 0115 7484210, 
Alinda Gillott (Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust) on +44(0) 0115 8542207

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Story credits

More information is available from Michael Craven on +44 (0) 0115 7484210,, Alinda Gillott on +44(0) 0115 8542207,

Emma Thorne Emma Thorne - Media Relations Manager

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 951 5793 Location: University Park

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