Multicomponent attention deficits in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder


Birim Günay Kılıç, MD, Sevil sokak No: 10/2 Cebeci, Ankara, Turkey. Email:


Abstract  The aim of this study was to examine the specific aspects of attention, such as selective attention, sustained attention, and short-term memory in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, combined subtype (ADHD-C). A total of 40 children with a diagnosis of ADHD from the 4th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, aged 6–11 years old were compared with 40 controls matched for age and gender on a battery of tests. Short-term memory span and attention was measured by Visual Aural Digit Span Test–Revised. Stroop test and the Turkish version of Cancellation Test were used to assess selective and sustained attention, respectively. In order to check for factor structure in two groups on the test scores, principal component analysis was conducted for both groups separately. Relative to the comparison children, children with ADHD showed significant deficits on tests that are related to different aspects of attention. The results are consistent with the theories explaining the biological basis of ADHD by scattered attention networks in the brain, which have reciprocal dynamic interactions. Further comparative studies are needed to elucidate whether the cognitive processes that are known to be assessed by these tests are specific to ADHD.