Single dissociation findings of ADHD deficits in vigilance but not anterior or posterior attention systems

Cynthia L. Huang-Pollock, Joel Nigg, Jeffrey M. Halperin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

52 Scopus citations


Following a distributed network model of visuospatial attention, the authors used an A-X version of the Continuous Performance Test and a covert orienting paradigm to examine the vigilance, anterior, and posterior attention systems. Compared with control participants without attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), children with the predominantly inattentive (ADHD-I) and combined (ADHD-C) subtypes had lower sensitivity (d') to detect targets from nontargets. Children with ADHD-C, but not ADHD-I, additionally had a highly activated response style (lnβ). Performance for both subtypes decreased to a greater extent over time in a manner consistent with problems in sustained attention. Together, these results suggest the presence of vigilance system deficits in participants with both ADHD subtypes. However, consistent with previous meta-analytic work, there was no evidence for anterior or posterior system orienting dysfunctions in either subtype.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)420-429
Number of pages10
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2006
Externally publishedYes



  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Continuous Performance Test
  • Visuospatial orienting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology

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