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J Abnorm Psychol. 2004 May;113(2):228-36.

A psychophysical measure of attention deficit in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

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Brain and Behavior Laboratory, Medical Research Center, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taoyuan, Taiwan.


The authors explored the temporal mechanism of attention deficit in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In rapid serial visual presentation tasks in which two targets (T-sub-1 and T-sub-2) were presented in close temporal proximity among distractors, participants tried to identify T-sub-1 and detect T-sub-2 in one (dual-task) experiment and only to detect T-sub-2 in a second control (single-task) experiment. The sensitivity of T-sub-2 detection was analyzed using signal detection theory. The attentional blink--the impairment in T-sub-2 detection following the identification of T-sub-1--was increased in magnitude and protracted in the patients. Moreover, some ADHD children appeared to have a blink largely normal in magnitude but temporally displaced toward a later time. The authors hypothesize that a slower closing of the attention gate may mediate this specific attention impairment in ADHD children.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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