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ERIC Number: EJ947408
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Dec
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0278-2626
Distributed Attentional Deficits in Chronic Methamphetamine Abusers: Evidence from the Attentional Network Task (ANT)
Salo, Ruth; Gabay, Shai; Fassbender, Catherine; Henik, Avishai
Brain and Cognition, v77 n3 p446-452 Dec 2011
Objective: The goal of the present study was to examine distributed attentional functions in long-term but currently abstinent methamphetamine (MA) abusers using a task that measures attentional alertness, orienting, and conflict resolution. Methods: Thirty currently abstinent MA abusers (1 month-5 years) and 22 healthy non-substance using adults were administered a multimodal version of the Attentional Network Task (ANT-I). In this task subjects identified the direction of a centrally presented arrow using a key press. Analyses examined the interaction between alerting tones, location cueing and congruency between the target arrows and flanking distractor stimuli. Results: All participants were faster when an auditory tone preceded the trial onset (p less than 0.001), on trials in which a valid cue preceded the location of the target arrow (p less than 0.001), and on congruent trials (i.e., when all display arrows faced in the same direction) (p less than 0.001). Of primary interest was the finding that MA abusers were more influenced by the conflict between the peripheral arrows and the central target arrow (p = 0.009). There were also correlations between length of drug sobriety and executive function as well as between drug-induced psychiatric symptoms and alertness. Conclusions: These results suggest that chronic MA abusers display cognitive deficits that may reflect a specific vulnerability to distraction on a task of executive function. These findings are consistent with other studies that have reported deficits in anterior attentional systems and top-down cognitive control. (Contains 2 figures and 2 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A