Deficient attention is hard to find: applying the perceptual load model of selective attention to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder subtypes
Article first published online: 6 JAN 2005
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry
Volume 46, Issue 11, pages 1211–1218, November 2005
How to Cite
Huang-Pollock, C. L., Nigg, J. T. and Carr, T. H. (2005), Deficient attention is hard to find: applying the perceptual load model of selective attention to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder subtypes. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 46: 1211–1218. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2005.00410.x
- Issue published online: 11 MAY 2005
- Article first published online: 6 JAN 2005
- Manuscript accepted 23 August 2004
- interference control;
- selective attention
Background: Whether selective attention is a primary deficit in childhood Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) remains in active debate.
Methods: We used the perceptual load paradigm to examine both early and late selective attention in children with the Primarily Inattentive (ADHD-I) and Combined subtypes (ADHD-C) of ADHD.
Results: No evidence emerged for selective attention deficits in either of the subtypes, but sluggish cognitive tempo was associated with abnormal early selection.
Conclusions: At least some, and possibly most, children with DSM-IV ADHD have normal selective attention. Results support the move away from theories of attention dysfunction as primary in ADHD-C. In ADHD-I, this was one of the first formal tests of posterior attention network dysfunction, and results did not support that theory. However, ADHD children with sluggish cognitive tempo (SCT) warrant more study for possible early selective attention deficits.