Searching for the attention deficit in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: The case of visuospatial orienting

Cynthia L. Huang-Pollock, Joel T. Nigg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

121 Scopus citations

Abstract

We review all 14 extant studies of covert visuospatial attention in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (total N=248). Metaanalysis showed that intriguing but isolated findings of alerting or posterior disengage deficits were too small to reliably detect with the sample sizes typically employed. Posterior move and engage operations and the vigilance sustained attention process were normal in ADHD. For exogenous cues, effect sizes for group differences were homogeneously small across all repeated-measures conditions, as were calculations of cost, benefit, and validity effects. For endogenous cues, effect sizes were heterogeneous; however, calculations of cost, benefit, and validity effects were small and homogenous. The most parsimonious conclusion may be that ADHD is not characterized by significant visual orienting dysfunction, but questions remain about the extent of anterior lateralized effects in the combined subtype and about attentional functioning in the inattentive subtype.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)801-830
Number of pages30
JournalClinical Psychology Review
Volume23
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2003

Keywords

  • ADHD
  • Covert attention
  • Visuospatial attention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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