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    ABSTRACT: Objective This study aimed to test the prediction from the Perception and Attention Deficit model of complex visual hallucinations (CVH) that impairments in visual attention and perception are key risk factors for complex hallucinations in eye disease and dementia. Methods Two studies ran concurrently to investigate the relationship between CVH and impairments in perception (picture naming using the Graded Naming Test) and attention (Stroop task plus a novel Imagery task). The studies were in two populationsolder patients with dementia (n=28) and older people with eye disease (n=50) with a shared control group (n=37). The same methodology was used in both studies, and the North East Visual Hallucinations Inventory was used to identify CVH. ResultsA reliable relationship was found for older patients with dementia between impaired perceptual and attentional performance and CVH. A reliable relationship was not found in the population of people with eye disease. Conclusions The results add to previous research that object perception and attentional deficits are associated with CVH in dementia, but that risk factors for CVH in eye disease are inconsistent, suggesting that dynamic rather than static impairments in attentional processes may be key in this population. Copyright (c) 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2013 · International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
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    ABSTRACT: Anxiety is a problem for many children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs). There is a paucity of models of the cognitive processes underlying this. Intolerance of Uncertainty (IU) has utility in explaining anxiety in neurotypical populations but has only recently received attention in ASD. We modelled the relationship between anxiety and IU in ASD and a typically developing comparison group, using parent and child self-report measures. Results confirmed significant relationships between IU and anxiety in children with ASD which appears to function similarly in children with and without ASD. Results were consistent with a causal model suggesting that IU mediates the relationship between ASD and anxiety. The findings confirm IU as a relevant construct in ASD.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of the current study was to investigate the effect of breakfast consumption on cognitive performance and mood in adolescents, and any interaction that breakfast consumption might have with cognitive load. The rationale for this approach was that the beneficial effects of any intervention with regard to cognitive function may be more readily apparent when more demands are placed on the system. Furthermore, as skipping breakfast is particularly prevalent within this age group, thus, we focused on adolescents who habitually skip breakfast. Cognitive load was modulated by varying the level of difficulty of a series of cognitive tasks tapping memory, attention, and executive functions. Mood measured with Bond-Lader scales (1974) as well as measures of thirst, hunger, and satiety were recorded at each test session both at baseline and after the completion of each test battery. Forty adolescents (mean age = 14:2) participated in this within-subjects design study. According to treatment, all participants were tested before and after the intake of a low Glycaemic index breakfast (i.e., a 35 g portion of AllBran and 125 ml semi-skimmed milk) and before and after no breakfast consumption. Assessment time had two levels: 8.00 am (baseline) and 10.45 am. The orders of cognitive load tasks were counterbalanced. Overall it appeared that following breakfast participants felt more alert, satiated, and content. Following breakfast consumption, there was evidence for improved cognitive performance across the school morning compared to breakfast omission in some tasks (e.g., Hard Word Recall, Serial 3's and Serial 7's). However, whilst participants performance on the hard version of each cognitive task was significantly poorer compared to the corresponding easy version, there was limited evidence to support the hypothesis that the effect of breakfast was greater in the more demanding versions of the tasks.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
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