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Computational Science Applications in Behavioral Science
  • Applications in Behavioral Sciences


    Helping a child with ADHD succeed in school

    It’s a typical day in the classroom. The teacher gives an assignment, and before starting to work, the students take time to organize their thoughts. They evaluate the assignment in terms of relevance, level of interest to them, etc. But for students with ADHD, the process of concentration can be painfully hard … even impossible to achieve.

    The tendency toward ADHD runs in families. But there are all kinds of other factors that affect a child’s ability to focus. These include:

    • The child’s home life (how disciplined it is; how parents handle reward and punishment)
    • The child’s school experience (classroom structure; relationships with peers)
    • Performance on previous assignments and tests


    There is no cure for ADHD. But by changing one or more of these factors, the parents and teachers of ADHD children can have a dramatic impact on the children’s classroom performance.

    In a course called “Computational Neuroscience and Psychology” you’ll use STELLA, a conceptual modeling program, to simulate the academic environments of theoretical ADHD students. You will explore variables in isolation and in conjunction with each other to develop an understanding of how they interact.

    This is only one example of how computational science can be used to advance the behavioral sciences.