Date of Award

May 2018

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Psychology

Advisor(s)

Natalie Russo

Keywords

attentional blink, chromosome 22q11.2 deletion syndrome, temporal attention, visual processing

Subject Categories

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Abstract

Chromosome 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome (22q11DS) is a genetic syndrome characterized by a variety of cognitive impairments, including difficulty with attention. Methodological confounds within the research investigating visual attention in individuals with 22q11DS make it difficult to understand temporal attention processing both in isolation and in a developmentally meaningful way. The current study addresses limitations of previous work by studying a specific temporal visual attention phenomenon, the attentional blink (AB), within a categorical rapid serial visual presentation task, and by utilizing developmentally appropriate sample matching procedures. Findings reveal that AB performance in individuals with 22q11DS is on par with two groups of typically developing control participants, one matched by chronological age and one matched by mental age. Individuals with 22q11DS performed similarly to both control groups on all measures of the AB, with the exception of reduced accuracy in reporting the first of two targets (T1 accuracy). These results suggest that aspects of temporal attention processing are intact in individuals with 22q11DS, and that attentional difficulties reported in previous research may be largely due to complexities in the spatial domain and/or difficulties sustaining attention in this population. Limitations and directions for future research are discussed.

Access

Open Access

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