ADHD And Attentional Blinks

An attentional blink occurs if you ask people to identify two visual stimuli in quick succession. They will successfully notice the first stimulus but the second one will be missed. E.g. if you play a string of letters and ask to spot letters R and Z, people will identify R and miss Z. It is kind of as if the brain was celebrating after finding the first letter and taking a short pause.

Existence of attentional blinks suggests that the circuits that underlie our ability to focus and ability to eliminate distractions don’t fail to focus. They rather overfocus on certain things and thereby miss other things.

ADHD people experience much more attentional blinks than non-ADHDs. Thus, perhaps an ADHD brain is more distracted simply because it keeps overfocusing on some elements and therefor missing others.

Reference

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