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1.  Drinking to Distraction: Does Alcohol Increase Attentional Bias in Adults with ADHD? 
Previous research has shown that social drinkers continue to show attentional bias towards alcohol-related stimuli even after consuming a moderate dose of alcohol. In contrast, little is known about how alcohol acutely affects attentional bias in groups at risk to develop alcohol-related problems, such as adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Such individuals may show increased attentional bias following alcohol relative to nonclinical controls. The present study tested this hypothesis by examining acute alcohol effects on attentional bias in 20 social drinkers with ADHD and 20 social drinkers with no history of ADHD. Participants performed a visual-probe task after receiving the following doses of alcohol: 0.64 g/kg, 0.32 g/kg, and 0.0 g/kg (placebo). Those in the ADHD group showed increased attentional bias under active alcohol doses, whereas attentional bias was similar across doses in the control group. Attentional bias predicted ad libitum alcohol consumption during a taste-rating session. This relation was observed only in the ADHD group. These findings indicate that an acute alcohol dose increases attentional bias in adults with ADHD. Further, attentional bias appears to be a predictor of ad libitum consumption in this group.
PMCID: PMC3338153  PMID: 22121850
Attentional bias; ADHD; Alcohol; Ad libitum consumption; At-risk drinkers
2.  Linking Impulsivity and Inhibitory Control Using Manual and Oculomotor Response Inhibition Tasks 
Acta psychologica  2011;138(3):419-428.
Separate cognitive processes govern the inhibitory control of manual and oculomotor movements. Despite this fundamental distinction, little is known about how these inhibitory control processes relate to more complex domains of behavioral functioning. This study sought to determine how these inhibitory control mechanisms relate to broadly defined domains of impulsive behavior. Thirty adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and 28 comparison adults performed behavioral measures of inhibitory control and completed impulsivity inventories. Results suggest that oculomotor inhibitory control, but not manual inhibitory control, is related to specific domains of self-reported impulsivity. This finding was limited to the ADHD group; no significant relations between inhibitory control and impulsivity were found in comparison adults. These results highlight the heterogeneity of inhibitory control processes and their differential relations to different facets of impulsivity.
PMCID: PMC3205291  PMID: 21982865
impulsivity; inhibitory control; manual; oculomotor; ADHD
3.  Does Response Variability Predict Distractibility among Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder? 
Psychological assessment  2011;23(2):427-436.
Increased intra-individual variability in response time (RTSD) has been observed reliably in ADHD and is often used as a measure of inattention. RTSD is assumed to reflect attentional lapses and distractibility, though evidence for the validity of this connection is lacking. We assessed whether RTSD is an indicator of inattention by comparing RTSD on the stop-signal task (SST) to performance on the Delayed Oculomotor Response (DOR) Task, a measure of distractibility. Participants included 30 adults with ADHD and 28 controls. Participants completed the SST and the DOR task, which measured subjects’ ability to maintain attention and avoid distraction by inhibiting reflexive saccades toward distractors. On the SST, the ADHD group was slower to inhibit than controls, indicating poorer inhibitory control in ADHD. The ADHD group also displayed slower RTs, greater RTSD, and more omission errors. On the DOR task, the ADHD group displayed more premature saccades (i.e., greater distractibility) than controls. Greater variability in RT was associated with increased distraction on the DOR task but only in ADHD participants. Results suggest that RTSD is linked to distractibility among adults with ADHD and support the use of RTSD as a valid measure of inattention in ADHD.
PMCID: PMC3115498  PMID: 21443365
ADHD; adults; variable attention; eye movements
4.  Separating Automatic and Intentional Inhibitory Mechanisms of Attention in Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder 
Journal of abnormal psychology  2011;120(1):223-233.
Researchers in the cognitive sciences recognize a fundamental distinction between automatic and intentional mechanisms of inhibitory control. The use of eye-tracking tasks to assess selective attention has led to a better understanding of this distinction in specific populations such as children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This study examined automatic and intentional inhibitory control mechanisms in adults with ADHD using a saccadic interference (SI) task and a delayed ocular response (DOR) task. Thirty adults with ADHD were compared to 27 comparison adults on measures of inhibitory control. The DOR task showed that adults with ADHD were less able than comparison adults to inhibit a reflexive saccade towards the sudden appearance of a stimulus in the periphery. However, SI task performance showed that the ADHD group did not differ significantly from the comparison group on a measure of automatic inhibitory control. These findings suggest a dissociation between automatic and intentional inhibitory deficits in adults with ADHD.
PMCID: PMC3065892  PMID: 21058752
ADHD; inhibition; automatic; intentional

Results 1-5 (5)