Computerized Stroop Test to Assess Selective Attention in Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Universidade São Francisco, Brazil.
The Spanish Journal of Psychology (Impact Factor: 0.74). 05/2007; 10(1):33-40. DOI: 10.1017/S1138741600006296
Source: PubMed


Research shows abnormal function of the pre-frontal cortex in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). This cortex is involved in the control of executive functions related to planning and execution of goal-oriented strategies, working memory, inhibitions, cognitive flexibility, and selective attention. Selective attention involves focus on the target stimulus, ignoring competing distractions. The Stroop Test (Stroop, 1935) is usually used to evaluate selective attention. This study investigated whether children with ADHD could exhibit modified performance in the Stroop Test. Using a computerized version of this test (Capovilla, Montiel, Macedo, & Charin, 2005), the study compared the reaction times (RTs) of 62 Brazilian children, between 8 and 12 years of age, 31 of whom were diagnosed with ADHD and sent to psychiatric clinics, and 31 without ADHD studying in regular schools. All children with ADHD satisfied the criteria of the DSM-IV-TR and were evaluated with the Conners Abbreviated Questionnaire (Goyette, Conners, & Ulrich, 1978), completed by parents and teachers. The results revealed that children with ADHD exhibit greater interference in RT than children without ADHD. This corroborated the hypothesis that children with ADHD exhibit a deficit in selective attention, consisting in augmented RTs, as measured by the Computerized Stroop Test.

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    • "Three parts composes the computerized version of the Stroop Test (Capovilla et al., 2007), each comprising 24 stimuli. In the first part the subject is asked to read the word that appears in the computer display and the stimuli are names of four colors (yellow, blue, green and red) written in capital black font. "
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    ABSTRACT: To investigate possible differences in peripheral levels of chemokines, BDNF and oxidative markers between patients with Schizophrenia (SZ) and matched healthy controls, and investigate the correlation of these biomarkers with cognitive performance. Thirty individuals with SZ and 27 healthy controls were included and the following plasmatic biomarkers' levels were determined according to manufacturers' instructions: BDNF, TBARS, protein carbonyl content (PCC) and the chemokines CXCL-10/IP-10, CXCL-8/IL-8, CCL-11, CCL-24/Eotaxin-2, CCL-2/MCP-1, CCL-3/MIP-1. Selected neuropsychological tasks were administered to assess verbal learning (Hopkins Verbal Learning Test), verbal fluency (FAS test), working memory (Visual Working Memory Task, Keep Track Task, Letter Memory Task), set shifting (Plus-minus task, Number-letter task), inhibition (Computerized Stroop Task, Semantic Generation Task) and complex executive function tasks (Tower of London and the shortened version of the WCST-64). Compared with the healthy control group, individuals with SZ presented significantly higher levels of BDNF and the chemokine CCL-11, and lower levels of TBARS and the chemokine CXCL-10/IP-10. When we examined only the SZ group, BDNF levels were positively correlated with semantic generation tasks. Working memory ability was negatively correlated with PCC. Regarding chemokines, CCL-11 was negatively correlated to performance in working memory test, and positively correlated with cognitive flexibility task. CXCL-8/IL-8 was positively correlated with verbal fluency. CCL-24/Eotaxin-2 was positively correlated with semantic generation ability and letter memory task. Our results indicate that cognitive performance in SZ is associated with mediators of neuroplasticity that can be measured peripherally.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2013 · Journal of Psychiatric Research
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    • "Executive function will be assessed using a computerized Stroop test [36]. DirectRT (Empirisoft, New York, NY) software will record the participants’ reaction times and responses. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Community ambulation is a highly complex skill requiring the ability to adapt to increased environmental complexity and perform multiple tasks simultaneously. After stroke, individuals demonstrate a diminished ability to perform dual-tasks. Current evidence suggests that conventional rehabilitation does not adequately address gait-related dual-task impairments after stroke, which may be contributing to low levels of participation and physical inactivity in community-dwelling stroke survivors. The objective of this study is to investigate the efficacy of dual-task gait training in community-dwelling adults within 1 year of stroke. Specifically, we will compare the effects of dual-task gait training and single-task gait training on cognitive-motor interference during walking at preferred speed and at fastest comfortable speed (Aim 1), locomotor control during obstacle negotiation (Aim 2), and spontaneous physical activity (Aim 3). Methods/Design This single-blind randomized controlled trial will involve 44 individuals within 12 months of stroke. Following baseline evaluation, participants will be randomly allocated to single- or dual-task gait training. Both groups will receive 12, 30-minute sessions provided one-on-one over 4–6 weeks in an outpatient therapy setting. Single-task gait training involves practice of gait activities incorporating motor relearning principles. Dual-task gait training involves an identical gait training protocol; the critical difference being that the dual-task gait training group will practice the gait activities while simultaneously performing a cognitive task for 75% of the repetitions. Blinded assessors will measure outcomes at baseline, post-intervention, and 6 months after completion of the intervention. The primary outcome measure will be dual-task effects on gait speed and cognition during unobstructed walking. Secondary outcomes include spatiotemporal and kinetic gait parameters during unobstructed single- and dual-task walking at preferred and fastest comfortable walking speeds, gait parameters during high and low obstacle crossing, spontaneous physical activity, executive function, lower extremity motor function, Timed Up and Go, balance self-efficacy, number of falls, and stroke-related disability. Hypotheses for each aim will be tested using an intention-to-treat analysis with repeated measures ANOVA design. Discussion This trial will provide evidence to help clinicians make decisions about the types of activities to include in rehabilitation to improve dual-task walking after stroke. Trial registration NCT01568957
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2012 · BMC Neurology
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    ABSTRACT: The findings regarding the validity of attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) subtypes using neuropsychological functioning have been inconsistent; and no such study has been conducted in an ethnic Chinese population. The aim of the present paper was therefore to examine the validity of attention tasks in distinguishing the ADHD-combined type (ADHD-C) from the ADHD-inattention type (ADHD-I), as compared to children without ADHD in Taiwan. Participants included 52 children with ADHD-C, 17 with ADHD-I, and 52 controls, aged 7-10 years. The clinical diagnosis of DSM-IV ADHD was further confirmed by a standardized psychiatric interview. Four attention components were examined: sensory selection, response selection, capacity/focus, and sustained attention, using the Cancellation Test, Digit Span, Trail-Making Test (TMT), Continuous Performance Test (CPT), and Circle-Tracing Test. Behaviour symptoms were rated by the parents, teachers, and investigators. Compared to children without ADHD, children with ADHD scored significantly higher in parent-reported and investigator-rated behavioural symptoms, and performed worse in the four domains of attention. Multiple comparisons indicated that children with ADHD-C had a worse performance on most tests than children with ADHD-I, except that children with ADHD-I had more off-target errors on the TMT with alphanumeric sequencing than children with ADHD-C. Attention tests can distinguish Taiwanese children with ADHD from those without ADHD, and these tests also demonstrate different profiles between the ADHD-C and ADHD-I groups. Further investigation on this topic should include the ADHD-hyperactivity-impulsivity subtype (ADHD-HI) and increase sample sizes of the children with ADHD-I and ADHD-HI.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2008 · Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry
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