British Journal of Developmental Psychology

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Volume 23 Issue 4 (November 2005), Pages 487-660

Attention, task difficulty, and ADHD (pages 513-516)

Comments on analysis of attention tasks in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) provided by Wilding (2005) points out that whereas many regulatory functions, including alertness or arousal, appear to be impaired in ADHD, demonstrating basic attention deficits in selection or orienting functions in the disorder has proven difficult. Yet several issues remain to be addressed in the field with regard to attentional function in ADHD. These include the need for further scrutiny of effects of perceptual load, the psychometric problem of differential task difficulty and differential deficit, relative value of complex versus simple tasks, and consideration of heterogeneity in ADHD. Heterogeneity pertains both to additional analysis of ADHD subtypes, in light of speculation that the Inattentive type may be characterized by true attention problems, and to newer analyses of potential distinct etiological groups within subtype. New analyses of attentional operations have a role to play in these future directions.

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