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Title:The Use of The Match-to-Sample Paradigm to Study Stimulant Drug Treatment Effects on Attentional Processes in Hyperactive Children
Author(s):White, David Michael
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Psychology, Personality
Abstract:Attention is currently considered the core deficit of hyperactivity as emphasized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is in fact a new diagnostic label for the term "hyperactivity." The attention processes of "hyperactive" children have rarely been studied. The present research involved the use of microcomputers to investigate the allocation of attention in hyperactive children. Children were tested via a match-to-sample (MTS) task that was operated by an Apple II microcomputer. With use of the microcomputer the strategies children used to solve the MTS tasks were directly observed. The children were asked to examine a sample stimulus as long as they wished and examine, in any sequence, each of six alternative variants of the sample in order to find an exact match. The MTS equipment monitored and recorded each time a stimulus was examined and the length of time it was inspected. The computer automatically recorded the strategies the children used to solve the task. The current research with this task helped to uncover a number of differences in the attention allocation of hyperactive and normal (i.e., nonreferred) children. Hyperactive children were found, for example, to typically inspect fewer different alternative stimuli than nonreferred children. The result of this attention deployment strategy of the hyperactive children was that they lacked information about the alternatives they did not view. They were prone to select the first alternative stimulus that appeared to be like the sample and then to discontinue their search. This increased hyperactive children's error rates. This finding is potentially important in extending the literataure on attention of hyperactive children. Hyperactive childen have often been reported to search stimuli presented in complex cognitive and logical tasks more "quickly" than nonreferred children. The present study showed that hyperactive children inspect fewer different alternative stimuli than normal children and this accounts for the high error rates and short latencies with which hyperactive children are associated. A sequel study, in which attention processes as assessed on the MTS task were examined in hyperactive children on placebo and three mg/kg/day doses (0.3, 0.5, 0.8) of methylphenidate, failed to obtain significant drug effects. (Abstract shortened with permission of author.)
Issue Date:1986
Description:300 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1986.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8623436
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1986

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