Our
Science

We at Comigo Inc. set out to improve the lives of individuals with ADHD and other executive functioning challenges through innovative, AI-powered solutions. We also built Comigo to be for everybody: ourselves, others with ADHD, people who struggle with hormone-related cognitive and emotional dysregulation, people who struggled with depression and anxiety, those with loved ones who live with these conditions, and anyone interested in what the overlap of technology and psychology can offer. To create an effective and supportive tool for these purposes and people, we have started from a place of passion and principles and let science-driven development lead the way. As such, this page is dedicated to the research, science, and tech that have paved the path to Comigo.

Executive Function, what's your function?

Our ability to pick a goal and work towards it not only defines us as a species but also relates to our success in school, relationships, work, and more. Our and others’ impressions of things like persistence, sustained attention, and inhibiting inappropriate behavior can predict our health, wealth, and lawful behavior decades later in life, possibly even more than intelligence and financial resources! Whatever setting or sector you’re in, these goal-directed skills, often called executive functions or EFs, are critical for our everyday lives.

EFs refer to a set of cognitive skills that allow us to pursue goals and regulate our thoughts, feelings, and actions. As Russ Barkley puts it, EFs “organize your behavior across time in anticipation of what is coming at you.” Barkley also notes, and correctly so, that ADHD is about much more than an ‘attention deficit’ – ADHD is a disorder of the multi-level, complex web of EFs that affects daily life.

The most robust model of EF, called the Unity and Diversity model, has been thoroughly studied at the level of human behavior and the brain. To briefly summarize the model shown below, inhibition – our ability to resist urges, stay on task, and avoid distractions – lies at the heart of nearly all aspects of EF. In addition, some tests and tasks also depend upon two other skills: our ability to hold and update information in mind (often called working memory) and switch between different tasks, goals, or strategies (flexibility).

Schematic figure of a model in which Inhibition is related to all skills but switching and updating are only related to some abilities.

This basic idea of this model and the way our brain supports these skills are true for adults, adolescents, and children, and they overlap with the neuroscience and EF deficits observed among folks with ADHD and various mental and physical health conditions too. When looking across the literature at all studies of EFs among individuals with mental health conditions, we unsurprisingly see significant difficulties across ADHD, mood disorders, and many anxiety disorders, among others. This extends to physical health, like chronic diseases and inflammation, and what we do to keep ourselves healthy. Given all of these important contributors, correlates, and consequences, there’s a ton of interest in targeting and training EFs for both preventative and therapeutic efforts.

When Technology Met Psychology

Though there has been enormous hype around brain training and cognitive enhancement for years, these tools have not held up to scientific scrutiny (1,2,3,4). Instead, we’ve built Comigo to work with you around your specific ADHD and day-to-day challenges. Comigo’s therapeutic support and everyday exercises are distilled from Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT, pronounced “act”), which have been supported by thousands of clinical trials. Recent advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP) allow constrained large language models (LLMs) to power Comigo’s ability to break down barriers, support your productivity, and provide tried-and-true therapeutic techniques though personalized conversation. Comigo therefore lives at the intersection of these tools and technologies:

Conversational Agents and Comigo

Recent studies have shown that the qualities that make for a good companion and source of support, like the bond between a patient and therapist and the therapeutic alliance, can be cultivated by conversational agents (i.e., chatbots). With these powerful technologies available, we want you to find what works for you. In contrast to one-size-fits-all productivity tools or mental health apps, however, Comigo is specifically designed for folks with EF challenges. Comigo is available 24/7, more affordable than a single session with most therapists*, side effect free, ready to support you with a single sentence or click, and conscientiously curated with organization, simplicity, and efficacy in mind. If we’ve got effective knowledge and tools to help ☝️, you shouldn’t have to go to graduate school or pay hundreds of dollars per hour to learn and benefit from them.*

Comigo - The AI Brain Buddy for Everybody

So, whether you’re one of the 366 million people living with ADHD or someone seeking a better way to manage daily life, Comigo is here to help, and we’re just getting started. Through evidence-based strategies like offloading your working memory, making your environment and habits work better for you, replenishing your regulatory resources, and cultivating mindfulness and self-compassion, Comigo is designed to help you focus and flourish. While we too will be actively contributing to the scientific literature in this space, our first priority, from the start, is you and what you can get out of collaborating with Comigo.

 

 

[*Although everyone would likely benefit from working with a competent and skilled therapist, learning from these tools and techniques could happen before you need a therapist, or even after working with one. Comigo has not been evaluated, cleared, or approved by the FDA. It is not intended to diagnose, monitor, treat, or prevent any disease. Comigo may be considered as a supplement to clinical care, but it is not intended to replace clinical care.]