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    Disentangling the adult attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder endophenotype: parametric measurement of attention

    Finke, K. and Schwarzkopf, W. and Müller, U. and Frodl, T. and Muller, Hermann J. and Schneider, W.X. and Engel, R.R. and Riedel, M. and Möller, H.J. and Hennig-Fast, K. (2011) Disentangling the adult attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder endophenotype: parametric measurement of attention. Journal of Abnormal Psychology 120 (4), pp. 890-901. ISSN 0021-843X.

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    Abstract

    Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) persists frequently into adulthood. The decomposition of endophenotypes by means of experimental neuro-cognitive assessment has the potential to improve diagnostic assessment, evaluation of treatment response, and disentanglement of genetic and environmental influences. We assessed four parameters of attentional capacity and selectivity derived from simple psychophysical tasks (verbal report of briefly presented letter displays) and based on a “theory of visual attention.” These parameters are mathematically independent, quantitative measures, and previous studies have shown that they are highly sensitive for subtle attention deficits. Potential reductions of attentional capacity, that is, of perceptual processing speed and working memory storage capacity, were assessed with a whole report paradigm. Furthermore, possible pathologies of attentional selectivity, that is, selection of task-relevant information and bias in the spatial distribution of attention, were measured with a partial report paradigm. A group of 30 unmedicated adult ADHD patients and a group of 30 demographically matched healthy controls were tested. ADHD patients showed significant reductions of working memory storage capacity of a moderate to large effect size. Perceptual processing speed, task-based, and spatial selection were unaffected. The results imply a working memory deficit as an important source of behavioral impairments. The theory of visual attention parameter working memory storage capacity might constitute a quantifiable and testable endophenotype of ADHD.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    School: School of Science > Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 03 Nov 2015 10:07
    Last Modified: 03 Nov 2015 10:07
    URI: https://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/13297

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