Does Response Variability Predict Distractibility Among Adults With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder?

Zachary Adams, Walter M. Roberts, Richard Milich, Mark T. Fillmore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Increased intraindividual variability in response time (RTSD) has been observed reliably in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and has often been used as a measure of inattention. RTSD is assumed to reflect attentional lapses and distractibility, though evidence for the validity of this connection is lacking. We assessed whether RTSD is an indicator of inattention by comparing RTSD on the stop-signal task (SST) with performance on the delayed oculomotor response (DOR) task, a measure of distractibility. Participants included 30 adults with ADHD and 28 controls. Participants completed the SST and the DOR task, which measured subjects' ability to maintain attention and avoid distraction by inhibiting reflexive saccades toward distractors. On the SST, the ADHD group was slower to inhibit than were controls, indicating poorer inhibitory control in ADHD. The ADHD group also displayed slower reaction times (RTs), greater RTSD, and more omission errors. On the DOR task, the ADHD group displayed more premature saccades (i.e., greater distractibility) than did controls. Greater variability in RT was associated with increased distraction on the DOR task, but only in ADHD participants. Results suggest that RTSD is linked to distractibility among adults with ADHD and support the use of RTSD as a valid measure of inattention in ADHD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)427-436
Number of pages10
JournalPsychological Assessment
Volume23
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity
Reaction Time
Saccades
Aptitude
Task Performance and Analysis

Keywords

  • ADHD
  • Adults
  • Eye movements
  • Variable attention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology

Cite this

Does Response Variability Predict Distractibility Among Adults With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder? / Adams, Zachary; Roberts, Walter M.; Milich, Richard; Fillmore, Mark T.

In: Psychological Assessment, Vol. 23, No. 2, 06.2011, p. 427-436.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Adams, Zachary ; Roberts, Walter M. ; Milich, Richard ; Fillmore, Mark T. / Does Response Variability Predict Distractibility Among Adults With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder?. In: Psychological Assessment. 2011 ; Vol. 23, No. 2. pp. 427-436.
@article{adc6c61f93d64987b4a6d4a118a08dc4,
title = "Does Response Variability Predict Distractibility Among Adults With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder?",
abstract = "Increased intraindividual variability in response time (RTSD) has been observed reliably in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and has often been used as a measure of inattention. RTSD is assumed to reflect attentional lapses and distractibility, though evidence for the validity of this connection is lacking. We assessed whether RTSD is an indicator of inattention by comparing RTSD on the stop-signal task (SST) with performance on the delayed oculomotor response (DOR) task, a measure of distractibility. Participants included 30 adults with ADHD and 28 controls. Participants completed the SST and the DOR task, which measured subjects' ability to maintain attention and avoid distraction by inhibiting reflexive saccades toward distractors. On the SST, the ADHD group was slower to inhibit than were controls, indicating poorer inhibitory control in ADHD. The ADHD group also displayed slower reaction times (RTs), greater RTSD, and more omission errors. On the DOR task, the ADHD group displayed more premature saccades (i.e., greater distractibility) than did controls. Greater variability in RT was associated with increased distraction on the DOR task, but only in ADHD participants. Results suggest that RTSD is linked to distractibility among adults with ADHD and support the use of RTSD as a valid measure of inattention in ADHD.",
keywords = "ADHD, Adults, Eye movements, Variable attention",
author = "Zachary Adams and Roberts, {Walter M.} and Richard Milich and Fillmore, {Mark T.}",
year = "2011",
month = "6",
doi = "10.1037/a0022112",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "23",
pages = "427--436",
journal = "Psychological Assessment",
issn = "1040-3590",
publisher = "American Psychological Association Inc.",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Does Response Variability Predict Distractibility Among Adults With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder?

AU - Adams, Zachary

AU - Roberts, Walter M.

AU - Milich, Richard

AU - Fillmore, Mark T.

PY - 2011/6

Y1 - 2011/6

N2 - Increased intraindividual variability in response time (RTSD) has been observed reliably in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and has often been used as a measure of inattention. RTSD is assumed to reflect attentional lapses and distractibility, though evidence for the validity of this connection is lacking. We assessed whether RTSD is an indicator of inattention by comparing RTSD on the stop-signal task (SST) with performance on the delayed oculomotor response (DOR) task, a measure of distractibility. Participants included 30 adults with ADHD and 28 controls. Participants completed the SST and the DOR task, which measured subjects' ability to maintain attention and avoid distraction by inhibiting reflexive saccades toward distractors. On the SST, the ADHD group was slower to inhibit than were controls, indicating poorer inhibitory control in ADHD. The ADHD group also displayed slower reaction times (RTs), greater RTSD, and more omission errors. On the DOR task, the ADHD group displayed more premature saccades (i.e., greater distractibility) than did controls. Greater variability in RT was associated with increased distraction on the DOR task, but only in ADHD participants. Results suggest that RTSD is linked to distractibility among adults with ADHD and support the use of RTSD as a valid measure of inattention in ADHD.

AB - Increased intraindividual variability in response time (RTSD) has been observed reliably in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and has often been used as a measure of inattention. RTSD is assumed to reflect attentional lapses and distractibility, though evidence for the validity of this connection is lacking. We assessed whether RTSD is an indicator of inattention by comparing RTSD on the stop-signal task (SST) with performance on the delayed oculomotor response (DOR) task, a measure of distractibility. Participants included 30 adults with ADHD and 28 controls. Participants completed the SST and the DOR task, which measured subjects' ability to maintain attention and avoid distraction by inhibiting reflexive saccades toward distractors. On the SST, the ADHD group was slower to inhibit than were controls, indicating poorer inhibitory control in ADHD. The ADHD group also displayed slower reaction times (RTs), greater RTSD, and more omission errors. On the DOR task, the ADHD group displayed more premature saccades (i.e., greater distractibility) than did controls. Greater variability in RT was associated with increased distraction on the DOR task, but only in ADHD participants. Results suggest that RTSD is linked to distractibility among adults with ADHD and support the use of RTSD as a valid measure of inattention in ADHD.

KW - ADHD

KW - Adults

KW - Eye movements

KW - Variable attention

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=79959320054&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=79959320054&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1037/a0022112

DO - 10.1037/a0022112

M3 - Article

VL - 23

SP - 427

EP - 436

JO - Psychological Assessment

JF - Psychological Assessment

SN - 1040-3590

IS - 2

ER -