for people ages 18-30 (full criteria)
at Sacramento, California
study started
completion around
Principal Investigator
by Julie Schweitzer, Ph.D.



This project will study how fidgeting relates to cognitive and emotional functioning in adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It will determine, in a laboratory setting, whether movement and access to a "fidget device" providing sensory and motor stimulation can improve cognitive and emotional regulation (including on physiological measures) in adult ADHD. The investigators will also acquire pilot data for machine learning analyses to be used in future, large scale studies to identify gestures and touch characteristics associated with improved cognitive and emotional regulation to see if the data can predict and subsequently develop recommendations to improve performance and emotional control in natural settings (e.g., home, office, college classroom) for adult ADHD.

Official Title

Can Fidgeting Lead to Enhanced Attention and Emotional Regulation in ADHD?


Fidgeting is a highly common behavior, with excessive fidgeting associated with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Studies from the investigator's laboratory and colleagues suggest physical movement can enhance cognitive performance in children with ADHD. Hyper-sensorimotor behavior may be related to impaired regulation of arousal in the noradrenergic and dopaminergic systems. This project will assess if frequency and characteristics of sensorimotor behavior relates to cognitive and emotional response in adults with ADHD, in a fine-grained manner, unlike other studies. The investigators will test if intrinsic fidgeting (Aim 1) and access to a specially designed fidget device (Aim 2) modulates behavioral and physiological response in cognitively and emotionally-demanding contexts. The hype of the commercially available fidget devices, its competitors and fidget spinners suggest it might, but there is no systematic evidence to inform consumers, a gap, the investigators aim to fill.


ADHD, Fidget ball


You can join if…

Open to people ages 18-30

  • ADHD
  • History of fidgeting

You CAN'T join if...

  • Currently taking psychoactive medication, with the exception of stimulant medication for ADHD or medication that can affect heart rate;
  • Presence of significant depression or psychotic disorders, autism, visual or hearing impairment or any other disorder that may interfere with task performance; and IQ below 85


  • UC Davis MIND Institute accepting new patients
    Sacramento California 95817 United States

Lead Scientist at UC Davis

  • Julie Schweitzer, Ph.D.
    Julie Schweitzer is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and MIND Institute. She directs the Attention, Impulsivity, Regulation (AIR)/ADHD Program at the UC Davis MIND Institute.


accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
University of California, Davis
Learn more or sign up for the study here! Sign up for this study
Study Type
Expecting 109 study participants
Last Updated