Fidget Spinners May Decrease Prefrontal Cortex Activity During Cognitively Challenging Fine Motor Tasks

  • Reza KoilerEmail author
  • Elham Bakhshipour
  • Austin Schimmel
  • Andrez Jones
  • Kimberlly Milla
  • Patricia A. Shewokis
  • Nancy Getchell
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 1201)


Despite increasing popularity, media attention, and commercial success of fidget spinners, scientific evidence on their effectiveness is scarce. The purpose of this study was to explore how fidget spinners affect fine motor performance and its neural correlates in the Prefrontal Cortex (PFC). Functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) was used to examine the PFC activity while a group of healthy adult participants completed five different sub-tasks of the Purdue Pegboard Task (PPT). In this study, fidget spinners resulted in a significant decrease in ΔHbO compared to the controls during performance of the more cognitively demanding assembly subtask despite no differences in behavioral output. No other main effects for group existed in the other sub-tasks, although significant group by block interactions occurred in all four brain regions. This finding suggests that fidget spinners may reduce the cognitive load on LDLPFC during a cognitively challenging fine motor task.


Fidget spinner fNIRS ADHD Fine motor 


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Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021

Authors and Affiliations

  • Reza Koiler
    • 1
    Email author
  • Elham Bakhshipour
    • 1
  • Austin Schimmel
    • 1
  • Andrez Jones
    • 1
  • Kimberlly Milla
    • 2
  • Patricia A. Shewokis
    • 3
  • Nancy Getchell
    • 1
  1. 1.Biomechanics and Movement ScienceUniversity of DelawareNewarkUSA
  2. 2.Department of NeuropsychologyKennedy Krieger InstituteBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.Nutrition Sciences Department, College of Nursing and Health Professions, School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems, School of EducationDrexel UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

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