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Brain Cogn. 2008 Aug;67(3):324-39. doi: 10.1016/j.bandc.2008.02.002. Epub 2008 Mar 20.

Selective attention and inhibitory deficits in ADHD: does subtype or comorbidity modulate negative priming effects?

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch, New Zealand.


Selective attention has durable consequences for behavior and neural activation. Negative priming (NP) effects are assumed to reflect a critical inhibitory component of selective attention. The performance of adolescents with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) was assessed across two conceptually based NP tasks within a selective attention procedure. Comorbidity (non-comorbid ADHD vs. comorbid ADHD) and subtype (ADHD combined vs. ADHD inattentive) were considered key issues. Results found NP effects to differ as a function of comorbidity but not subtype. Findings are discussed in light of functional neuroimaging evidence for neuronal enhancement for unattended stimuli relative to attended stimuli that strongly complements an inhibitory-based explanation for NP. Implications for the 'AD' in ADHD and contemporary process models of the disorder are considered.

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