Abstract

Attentional performance in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with and without comorbid disorders was examined using the Covert Orienting of Visuospatial Attention Task (COVAT) and the Continuous Performance Task (CPT). The relationship between these two tasks was also examined. The results showed no overall differences on the attention tasks between children with ADHD alone and those with ADHD plus other disorders. Compared to non-ADHD control children, children with ADHD showed a deficit in the disengage operation of covert visuospatial attention, suggesting a difficulty in the endogenous mode of orienting. The ADHD children also showed a general performance deficit on the CPT. Although there was a general slowing on both attention tasks in the ADHD group, there was no relationship between invalid cue effect sizes on the COVAT and the CPT measures. These results indicate that these two attention tasks may be tapping both similar and independent underlying cognitive processes in ADHD.