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Original scientific paper

Impact of Affordances on Inhibition of Return is moderated by ADHD

Alen Hajnal orcid id ; University of Southern Mississippi, School of Psychology, Hattiesburg, MS, USA
Landry Filce ; University of Southern Mississippi, School of Psychology, Hattiesburg, MS, USA
Morteza Mahdiani orcid id ; University of Coimbra, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Coimbra, Portugal

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page 503-519

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Visual attention is essential to performing functional tasks such as reaching out and picking up a cup of coffee from the table. To what extent is attention in individuals diagnosed with ADHD affected during such tasks? What factors influence attention in functional tasks that relate to goal-directed behaviour (i.e. affordances) is largely unknown. Researchers have used the cognitive mechanism of inhibition of return to investigate how attention works. Pragmatic inhibition of return occurs when the affordances, or pragmatic features, of the object are presented repeatedly as both cue and target stimuli, and suppress processing of similar information in the future to facilitate identification of novel stimuli. In the present study, pragmatic inhibition of return was examined by using “preferred” and “non-preferred” stimuli in the Posner cueing task in order to determine whether the stimulus with a more salient or obvious affordance would show a greater inhibition of return effect. The preferred stimuli were a soccer ball being kicked and a tennis ball being hit with a racket. The non-preferred stimuli were a soccer ball being hit by a racket and a tennis ball being kicked with the foot. Both the ADHD group and the control group exhibited inhibition of return, but the ADHD group was affected at later time delays following a cue stimulus. This suggests that the difference between ADHD and normal controls is a consequence of straightforward temporal delay, and not necessarily related to differences in the nature of attentional processing.


affordance; Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder; inhibition of return; visual attention

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