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Training children with ADHD to minimize impulsivity in auditory contralateral masking
International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology (2012)
  • L Gray, James Madison University
  • B Miller
  • S Evans
Objective Impulsivity and distractibility are among the important symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In this study, impulsivity is operationally measured using false-alarm rates in an auditory, contralateral-masking task. Intensive auditory training was attempted to decrease false alarm rates. Methods In contralateral masking there is a distracting noise in one ear on every trial and a threshold-level tone in the other ear on half of those trials. Participants indicated whether the tone was present or not and received immediate feedback. The intensity of the masked tone was adaptively varied to track threshold. False alarms are the error of commission, saying that a stimulus is present when it is not. Seven school-aged children with ADHD (ages 10–16) and four adults without ADHD were trained on this task for 900 trials per day over four consecutive days. Results False alarms from the children with ADHD decreased over the four days of training, beginning at the high level and ending at the low level expected from previous studies. There was no generalization to a different masking task. Results from the four adults were unexpected: soon after the training began they behaved no differently than the children with ADHD. Conclusion Children with ADHD can be trained to become less impulsive in an auditory detection task.
  • Hearing,
  • Adolescents,
  • ADHD,
  • Training,
  • Contralateral masking
Publication Date
Citation Information
Gray, L., Miller, B., Evans, S. Training Children with ADHD to Minimize Impulsivity in Auditory Contralateral Masking. International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology 76: 483–487, 2012.