Deficient attention is hard to find: Applying the perceptual load model of selective attention to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder subtypes

Cynthia L. Huang-Pollock, Joel Nigg, Thomas H. Carr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

91 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Whether selective attention is a primary deficit in childhood Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) remains in active debate. Methods: We used the perceptual load paradigm to examine both early and late selective attention in children with the Primarily Inattentive (ADHD-I) and Combined subtypes (ADHD-C) of ADHD. Results: No evidence emerged for selective attention deficits in either of the subtypes, but sluggish cognitive tempo was associated with abnormal early selection. Conclusions: At least some, and possibly most, children with DSM-IV ADHD have normal selective attention. Results support the move away from theories of attention dysfunction as primary in ADHD-C. In ADHD-I, this was one of the first formal tests of posterior attention network dysfunction, and results did not support that theory. However, ADHD children with sluggish cognitive tempo (SCT) warrant more study for possible early selective attention deficits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1211-1218
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines
Volume46
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2005
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

Keywords

  • ADHD
  • Interference control
  • Selective attention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

Cite this

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