Debate and Argument: Reply to Dr Koelega: Is the Continuous Performance Task Useful in Research with ADHD Children? Comments on a Review


Requests for reprints to: Linda Siegel, Department of Applied Psychology, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, 252 Bloor Street West, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 1V6.


Abstract Dr Koelega seems to have issues with our opinions on articles to include, statistical methods to employ, the terminology used and the models proposed. However, on closer examination, it appears that we both have used similar statistical techniques to analyze vigilance data and have employed similar terminology and models. It is not surprising that we have arrived at similar conclusions. The main conclusion drawn in our review and Dr Koelega's response emphasizes the need for further research to investigate performance on cognitive measures of sustained attention. This research should focus on the manipulation of the factors which are felt to influence performance on tasks such as the CPT. In his review of extraversion and vigilance performance, Dr Koelega (1992) states “here also a trend was noted to move to new problems before solving old ones” (p. 239). We feel that this has occurred in research exploring sustained attention deficits in children with ADHD. We hope that Dr Koelega's comments and our response will encourage investigators in the field to continue to search for underlying deficits which are unique to children with ADHD, and that clinicians will be more cautious in using research based tools as diagnostic instruments.