Comparative Study of Sustained Attentional Bias on Emotional Processing in ADHD Children to Pictures with Eye-Tracking




How to Cite This Article: Pishyareh E, Tehrani-doost M, Mahmoodi-gharaie J, Khorrami A, Rahmdar SR. A Comparative Study of Sustained
Attentional Bias on Emotional Processing in ADHD Children to Pictures with Eye-Tracking. Iran J Child Neurol. 2015 Winter;9(1):64-70.



ADHD children have anomalous and negative behavior especially in emotionally related fields when compared to other. Evidence indicates that attention has an impact on emotional processing. The present study evaluates the effect of emotional processing on the sustained attention of children with ADHD type C.

Materials & Methods

Sixty participants form two equal groups (each with 30 children) of normal and ADHD children) and each subject met the required selected criterion as either a normal or an ADHD child. Both groups were aged from 6–11-years-old. All pictures were chosen from the International Affective Picture System (IAPS) and presented paired emotional and neutral scenes in the following categories: pleasant-neutral; pleasant-unpleasant; unpleasant-neutral; and neutral–neutral. Sustained attention was evaluated based on the number and duration of total fixation and was compared between the groups with MANOVA analysis.


The duration of sustained attention on pleasant in the pleasant-unpleasant pair was significant. Bias in duration of sustained attention on pleasant scenes in pleasant-neutral pairs is significantly different between the groups.


Such significant differences might be indicative of ADHD children deficiencies in emotional processing. It seems that the highly deep effect of emotionally unpleasant scenes to gain the focus of ADHD children’s attention is responsible for impulsiveness and abnormal processing of emotional stimuli.



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Attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity (ADHD); Emotional processing; Eye-tracking; Sustained attention

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