The attentional blink and ADHD: A new interpretation

Neha Khetrapal*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


    Objective: The phenomenon of attentional blink (AB) has been explained with the help of different theories based on empirical work. AB refers to period of impairment in rapid presentalion of stimuli where the participants are unable to identify a target. This period follows the idenfification of the first target in the presentation stream and lasts for 400-600 milliseconds. The AB theories do not seem to work well when it comes to explaining the deficits which the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) population, sbow on the AB task. The use of the AB paradigm with the ADHD population can shed light on the nature of problems, which this group has and thus would be useful for the purpose of rehabilitation. Data Selection: What follows is a review of work done with ADHD and the theories of AB. Data Synthesis: The review suggests that the underlying problems in the disorder might be faulty top-down control of attention rather than a shortage of attentional capacity. In addition, the brain areas implicated in the problem are also discussed. Conclusions: A new cognitive model which includes both top-down and bottom up processes that better accounts for the deficits in the disorder is also suggested. The framework of the model gives a new perspective to understand the deficits and interventions for ADHDs.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)122-125
    Number of pages4
    JournalGerman Journal of Psychiatry
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 5 Nov 2007


    • ADHD
    • Attention blink
    • To-down control


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