Summary of the Research Findings to Date

In 1977, Barbara Arrowsmith Young posed these questions:

  • If one can understand the nature of a cognitive function, could one create a task that targets and works that function?

  • Would working on that task repetitively with a graduated increase in complexity, accuracy and speed of performance lead to neuroplastic change in the brain? Would this brain change lead to change in learning processes?

The research results are demonstrating that for individuals with learning disabilities, Arrowsmith’s cognitive programs lead to changes in:

• brain activation and connectivity

• cognitive functioning

• academic achievement

• rate of learning in the acquisition of academic skills

• social emotional well-being

• activities of daily living

• growth mindset (seeing one as an agent of change in one’s life)

• stress levels (as measured by reduction in cortisol)

For individuals with Traumatic Brain Injury, Arrowsmith’s cognitive programs lead to changes in:

• brain activation and connectivity

• cognitive functioning

• social emotional well-being

• successful return to work

 

For elementary aged students without learning disabilities, Arrowsmith’s cognitive programs lead to changes in:

• cognitive functioning

• academic achievement

 

As one of the researchers said at a research presentation in New York City in February 2019, “the capacity to learn new things appears to be changing in the Arrowsmith students.”

The research has been conducted by different researchers, using different research designs and different measures - academic, cognitive, social emotional and imaging - and studying students in different schools implementing the Arrowsmith Program. For updates on the research being conducted on the Arrowsmith Program, please visit the Research page on the website.

*Extract from the Arrowsmith Program Research Summary 2019