Attentional Focus of Students with Hyperactivity During a Word-Search Task

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Abstract

Mirrors have been used to focus attention to aspects of the self (e.g., to known strategies, standards). We hypothesized that this could be important for students with hyperactivity/inattention, who typically direct attention outward to external novelty. In this study, we administered a partially solvable word puzzle to 43 middle school students, with and without hyperactivity/inattention, in the presence and absence of a mirror, counterbalanced for condition and form order. Differences between students with hyperactivity/inattention and comparisons in accuracy were found only in the no mirror condition. Furthermore, the beneficial effect of the mirror for children with hyperactivity/inattention was most pronounced for those who looked at the mirror. Findings were interpreted in terms of their potential to remedy the production deficits of these children.

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