Attention detection in children: TALI the key to the future

400,000 children in Australia have significant attention difficulties, and yet the detection of childhood attention is expensive and time-consuming.

There is a real need for an accurate, low-cost tool to detect inattention in early childhood.

Thanks to the award of a Cooperative Research Centre – Project (CRC-P) to Australian Medical Technology Company Novita Healthcare Ltd, this has now become a real possibility.

The project will see the creation of a scalable detection tool for childhood inattention – TALI Detect™ – with a view to enabling national screening of attention difficulties for all children entering school. MICCN Director, Professor Kim Cornish, and MICCN researcher, Dr Hannah Kirk, will lead the research on this exciting, innovative project.

The TALI attention training program is an interactive technology based on over 20 years of world-leading research, helping to treat attention deficits through training of the core processes of attention. TALI Detect™ will leverage off the existing TALI attention detection modules, such as TALI Train™, which is delivered via game play enabled by Disney Developer of the Year Torus Games, and which draws upon the software engineering expertise of Grey Innovation. The game modules are designed to maximise child engagement and ensure no child "fails" TALI, even as it detects and trains for attention difficulties.

“We’re so proud to have been awarded this CRC-P,” Professor Cornish said. “Through the project, and through working in collaboration with Novita Healthcare Ltd and the team, we will deliver a medically-reimbursable, easily-accessible and scalable attention screening tool for the 300,000 Australian children starting preschool each year. TALI Detect™ will be a better, quicker and wider way to detect inattention in young children. We will be changing the futures of so many of these children, and their families, for the better.”

This is the second industry-related proposal awarded to Professor Cornish, Dr Kirk and TALI team this year. An NHMRC Development Grant will see the team extend TALI Train™ to new populations, such as children with acquired brain injuries and typically developing children, to ensure that more children do not fall through the gap.

MICCN congratulates Professor Kim Cornish and Dr Hannah Kirk on an incredible year.

For more information on TALI, please contact Professor Kim Cornish on t: 03 9905 9588,

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