We'll have a teen go through a course on the simulator and we'll give them some feedback about how they did. We'll have them go through the same course while trying to send a text message and then we show them a comparison of what they're like as a driver just paying attention to driving and what they're like as a driver with a divided attention task.
Q: What was your reaction to receiving the Early Career award?
A: It was a real humbling experience. I view it as a shared award with all of my collaborators at the center and all the folks that worked on that study because it took a lot of team effort to make that study work.
Q: When did you receive the good news, and how exciting was it for you to be able to share that with your colleagues?
A: It was a real thrill. I was invited to visit the White House to receive the award on Dec. 19. It was a really nice experience. They had people from all over the country who were also receiving the award, and the Office of Science and Technology Policy put on a nice ceremony and presented us with our awards, and then we got a tour of the White House and a chance to meet the president and have a photograph with him at the end of the afternoon. It was the sort of experience you never forget.
Q: How far has ADHD research come and where does it go from here?
A: There's a lot of research that shows that there's basically two treatments that work for ADHD. One is behavior modification, and then you can also use stimulant medication. Over decades, those are the two treatments that consistently show positive effects. I think what the next step is to figure out, can we get those treatments implemented consistently and effectively across home, school and peer group settings in a way that can be maintained? Because now we know that ADHD isn't a disorder that children grow out of. It's a chronic lifelong condition, and if these treatments get put in place only for a couple of months or even a couple of years, that's not going to be good enough. So I think as researchers our next step is to try to figure out how can we maintain these results and positive effects over the long run.