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Neuropsychologia. 1999 Jun;37(6):661-70.

The absent mind: further investigations of sustained attention to response.

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MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, Cambridge, UK.


We have previously demonstrated that performance on a brief and conceptually simple laboratory task (the Sustained Attention to Response Test: SART) was predictive of everyday attentional failures and action slips in brain injured patients and normal control participants. The SART is a go-no-go paradigm in which the no-go target appears rarely and unpredictably. Performance on this measure was previously interpreted as requiring sustained attention to response rather than a putative 'response inhibition' capacity. Three further studies are presented which support this claim. They demonstrate that performance is crucially determined by the duration of time over which attention must be maintained on one's own actions that this demand underpins the task's relationship to everyday attentional lapses. In keeping with a number of recent studies it suggests that inefficiencies in the maintenance of attentional control may be apparent over much briefer periods than is traditionally considered using vigilance measures and analysis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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