Tracking eye movements to enhance assessment of ADHD

By observing small involuntary eye movements, researchers hope to improve their understanding of the condition

01 Nov 2017 by Selina Powell

A new study has found differences in small, involuntary eye movements in people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) compared to neurotypical individuals.

As part of the research, published in Psychological Science, scientists studied a group of 20 people with an ADHD diagnosis alongside a group of 20 neurotypical controls.

Study participants were observed on two different days while watching coloured shapes on a screen and asked to press a key when they saw a red square. The square was shown at regular intervals one day and at varying times on the other day. 

Researchers found that while the reaction times of neurotypical individuals improved when the shape was shown at predictable intervals, this did not occur in those with ADHD.

In contrast to those with ADHD, the eye movements of the control group slowed down in preparation for an anticipated stimulus. 

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