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Laterality and selective attention in hyperactive children


Laterality and selective attention were investigated in a group of 20 hyperactive children and their matched controls using a dichotic listening task. There was a strong rightear advantage for both groups indicating that hyperactive children were not different from normal children in hemispheric specialization for verbal stimuli. In the selective attention experiment hyperactive children were again not different from normal children in their ability either to select the input designated as relevant or to resist the distraction of input designated irrelevant. Both groups gave more correct responses from the right ear than from the left ear, and more intrusions from the right ear than from the left. The results do not suggest abnormalities of lateralization for verbal material or indicate the existence of a selective attentional deficit. It is suggested that such reported deftcits may be situation or taskspecific.

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Correspondence to Dr. M. R. Prior.

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Davidson, E.M., Prior, M.R. Laterality and selective attention in hyperactive children. J Abnorm Child Psychol 6, 475–481 (1978).

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  • Correct Response
  • Matched Control
  • Selective Attention
  • Attentional Deficit
  • Normal Child