Contemporary School Psychology

, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 1–17 | Cite as

Historical Overview of Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder and Neurofeedback: Implications for Academic Achievement, Assessment, and Intervention in Schools

  • Jeffry P. La Marca
Systematic Review


From the first mention of impairments in attention in the scientific literature by the Scottish physician Alexander Crichton in 1798, the correlation between educational attainment and learning has been persistently noted. Since then, the impact of attention deficits on school achievement has been a central component in a significant portion of research, despite continual disagreements within the scientific community on identification, diagnosis, and efficacious interventions to address core symptoms of what is now referred to as Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). This article provides the historical context in which the construct of ADHD was developed, as well as a discussion of two commonly used interventions to address symptoms of ADHD (e.g., pharmaceuticals and the use of electroencephalographic [EEG] operant conditioning, or “neurofeedback.”). While use of pharmaceutical interventions is relegated only to medical professionals, neurofeedback may have the potential to be used by highly trained special educators and school psychologists in academic settings.


Neurofeedback ADHD Attention deficits EEG biofeedback School interventions Academicᅟachievement 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Conflict of Interest

The author declares that there is no conflict of interest.


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© California Association of School Psychologists 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Education and Human ServicesSeton Hall UniversitySouth OrangeUSA

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