The Family Attention and Cognition Training Study (FACT)

 In Past Research Projects

The Family Attention and Cognition Training (FACT) study is an educational research endeavor started by the Boston Charter Research Collaborative (BCRC) in 2015.

The BCRC is a multi-year partnership between Boston-area charter schools, researchers at MIT and the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and the National Center on Time and Learning’s Transforming Education program. Also joining the partnership for the FACT study administration is education nonprofit 1647 and members of the Brain Development Lab at the University of Oregon, who pioneered the family training curriculum.

Our primary goal is to investigate the efficacy of a family-based training program in improving children’s executive functions (EFs). EFs are the skills you use when you need to think hard and concentrate, such as problem-solving, attention, and self-control. Research shows that EFs are important for school readiness, and predict both academic achievement and life success. Another goal is to examine the factors that shape EFs. To do this, we are using a combination of behavioral assessments and brain imaging.

We’ve recently expanded the project to investigate literacy development in the brain, and are currently recruiting children ages 6-9 years old. Please contact if you’re interested in participating.

Publications and News

Language exposure relates to structural neural connectivity in childhood. Journal of Neuroscience. Romeo, R. R., Segaran, J., Leonard, J. A., Robinson, S., West, M. R., Mackey, A. P., Yendiki, A., Rowe, M. L., Gabrieli, J. D. E. (in press).

Beyond the 30-Million-Word Gap: Children’s Conversational Exposure Is Associated With Language-Related Brain Function. Romeo RR, Leonard JA, Robinson ST, West MR, Mackey AP, Rowe ML and Gabrieli JDE. Psychological Science. 2018 May;29(5):700-710. doi: 10.1177/0956797617742725. Epub 2018 Feb 14.

Amygdala-medial prefrontal connectivity relates to stress and mental health in early childhood. Park AT, Leonard JA, Saxler P, Cyr AB, Gabrieli JDE and Mackey AP. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. 2018 Mar 6. doi: 10.1093/scan/nsy017.

Past Projects & Research Interests

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