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july, 2021

01jul4:00 pm6:00 pmADHD Fidgeting Study

Event Details

Join Justin Fernandez for an in-depth discussion on his ADHD Fidgeting Study.
What’s all that fidgeting about?
The Auckland Bioengineering Institute have been collaborating with Mātai to investigate why people with ADHD fidget excessively. While everybody fidgets, it is known that people with ADHD fidget more than normal. Is there a purpose to it all?
Our pilot work has revealed that fidgeting increases activation in the decision-making region of the brain and we hypothesize it may be an unconscious compensatory mechanism helping those with ADHD to sustain attention and concentration.
Associate Professor Justin Fernandez (ABI) is working closely with Dr Samantha Holdsworth (Mātai), and Professor Karen Waldie (Developmental Neuropsychology) to explore the mechanisms behind this and characterise this using the state-of-the-art GE MRI based in Gisborne.
The team will explore the impact of fidgeting on brain structure, functional response, and chemical response, and use hyper fast multi-modal analysis to see short term responses. The ultimate goal is to develop an improved ADHD brain atlas that can be used to inform clinicians when diagnosing ADHD. This would be a world first tool.
Dr Fernandez, a bioengineer, will present a talk on the team’s preliminary findings on 1st July in Gisborne and discuss how they look forward to working with the Gisborne community and partner with Tairāwhiti to undertake this ground-breaking study. Perhaps society might view fidgeting differently as we learn how the brain naturally helps us cope.
Free but register here:



(Thursday) 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm


Gisborne Cosmopolitan Club

190 Derby St


MātaiWorld-leading research to enhance medical imaging capabilities using advanced software, image-processing, and machine learning.


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