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Attentional differences among adults with high symptoms of Attentional Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) : an ERP study

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posted on 2023-08-10, 02:02 authored by Natasha Cantlay

High symptom ADHD among adults may impact the attentional networks in domains of alerting and executive control. Using Petersen and Posner's (1990, 2012) model of attentional networks, alerting, orienting, and executive control were explored. The attentional network task (ANT) was employed (Fan et al., 2001) to investigate behavioural response time and accuracy, and neural (P3 ERP component) mechanisms of attention. There were 69 participants (51 females), aged 18-35 (M = 23.6, SD = 4.48). Participants were divided into quartiles based on scores of the Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale Symptom Checklist (ASRS) (Kessler et al., 2005). Scores ranged from zero to six, with the low symptom group scoring one or below and the high symptom group scoring four or above. Analyses were completed on behavioural and ERP data, all expected networking effects were found, replicating traditional networking effects of the ANT. The null hypothesis for group differences in alerting, orienting, and executive control were supported, with no reported group differences for the behavioural or ERP analyses. However, consideration of psychological significance over statistical significance of executive control differences between groups is given. In conclusion, this study provided no clear evidence for attentional differences among adults with high ADHD symptoms compared to healthy controls. However, there is room within this project for further exploration. Future research must consider task complexity, other neural mechanisms of attention, and nuances of ADHD including sub-type differences.

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  • Undergraduate Dissertation

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School of Psychological Sciences

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  • Unpublished

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Copyright 2022 the author.

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