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The Differential Effect of Anxiety and ADHD Symptoms on Inhibitory Control and Sustained Attention for Threat Stimuli: A Go/No-Go Eye-Movement Study.

Authors
  • Manoli, Athina1
  • Liversedge, Simon P2
  • Sonuga-Barke, Edmund J S3
  • Hadwin, Julie A4
  • 1 Queen Mary University of London, London, UK.
  • 2 University of Central Lancashire, Preston, Lancashire, UK.
  • 3 King's College London, London, UK.
  • 4 University of Southampton, Southampton, Hampshire, UK.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Attention Disorders
Publisher
SAGE Publications
Publication Date
Nov 01, 2021
Volume
25
Issue
13
Pages
1919–1930
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1177/1087054720930809
PMID: 32513052
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Objective: This study examined the synergistic effects of ADHD and anxiety symptoms on attention and inhibitory control depending on the emotional content of the stimuli. Method: Fifty-four typically developing individuals (27 children/adolescents and 27 adults) completed an eye-movement based emotional Go/No-Go task, using centrally presented (happy, angry) faces and neutral/symbolic stimuli. Sustained attention was measured through saccade latencies and saccadic omission errors (Go trials), and inhibitory control through saccadic commission errors (No-Go trials). ADHD and anxiety were assessed dimensionally. Results: Elevated ADHD symptoms were associated with more commission errors and slower saccade latencies for angry (vs. happy) faces. In contrast, angry faces were linked to faster saccade onsets when anxiety symptoms were high, and this effect prevailed when both anxiety and ADHD symptoms were high. Conclusion: Social threat impacted performance in individuals with sub-clinical anxiety and ADHD differently. The effects of anxiety on threat processing prevailed when both symptoms were high.

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