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Saturday, October 21 • 8:30am - 12:00pm
Keynote: Smartphones, Smart Kids: Activating Attention in the Digital Age

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Why do kids pay rapt attention to their smartphones, but not their homework? Why do teens readily initiate Snapchats but not projects? Smartphones capture involuntary attention, while independent schoolwork requires voluntary attention. In this talk, Dr. Palladino will explain how involuntary attention activates “bottom-up” brain pathways that originate in the sensory cortex, while voluntary attention creates and strengthens “top-down” brain pathways from the prefrontal cortex. She will emphasize screen time risk factors for children with various attention challenges and the developmental tasks in executive functioning that children face at specific ages. Dr. Palladino will discuss how voluntary attention builds executive functions, which include decision-making, emotional self-regulation, prioritization, time management, and attention control, and how voluntary attention results in desirable brain development. Participants will learn to recognize and strategize the “hard-to-stop” nature of involuntary attention and the “hard-to-start” nature of voluntary attention. Dr. Palladino will also include a review of evidence-based techniques to guide kids to build awareness, make good choices, and learn to monitor, limit, and balance their own use of technology.

Participants will be able to: describe the two major systems of neural pathways responsible for voluntary and involuntary attention; explain the impact of screen time on these respective systems as children's brains mature; and devise strategies to improve students' ability to focus, based on this knowledge.

avatar for Lucy Jo Palladino, PhD

Lucy Jo Palladino, PhD

Lucy Jo Palladino is a psychologist with over 35 years of experience, specifically in the area of attention. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Fordham University, her master’s and doctoral degrees from Arizona State University, and she completed an internship in clinical psychology at Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, Texas. She served as a clinical faculty member at the University of Arizona Medical School and was awarded a National Institute of Health research grant, for which she served as principal investigator. Dr... Read More →

Saturday October 21, 2017 8:30am - 12:00pm
LOCATION: Grand Ballroom Salons AB