Beating their chests: University students with ADHD demonstrate greater attentional abilities on an inattentional blindness paradigm

Ephraim S. Grossman, Yaakov S.G. Hoffman, Itai Berger, Ari Z. Zivotofsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Adults diagnosed with attentional deficit disorder (ADHD) are easily distracted in many tasks. Yet ADHD performance on inattentional blindness (IB) tasks has not been examined. Such investigation may aid in discriminating between 3 ADHD models: the neurological model, the perceptual load theory, and the "hunter versus farmer" hypothesis. Method: Distractibility was assessed in ADHD and non- ADHD college students using the MOXO task that involves detection of a single attended stimulus that repeatedly appears in the same place and in the well-known IB "gorilla" video which involves tracking of a stimulus moving at a fast pace in a dynamic, complex manner. Results: ADHD college students showed increased distractibility in the MOXO task. By contrast, they performed better than controls in the attended channel of the IB task, while they were also better at noticing the unattended stimuli and thus exhibiting little-to-no inattentional blindness. Conclusions: As no attentional tradeoffs were evident in the IB task, it appears that the results are most consistent with the "hunter versus farmer" hypothesis, which postulates that ADHD individuals have an alternative cognitive style which is less equipped to deal with detection of repeated stimuli while comprising advantages in the tracking of stimuli moving in a fast dynamic manner.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)882-887
Number of pages6
JournalNeuropsychology
Volume29
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • ADHD
  • Attention
  • Attentional deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Distractors
  • Hunter versus farmer hypothesis
  • Inattentional blindness

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