Trait inattention and goal representations.

Authors: Arabaci, G.

Conference: Bournemouth University, Faculty of Science and Technology


Inattention is a symptom of many clinical disorders. Research has shown that the symptom of inattention is best thought of as being on a continuum. Consistently, sub- clinical inattention has been shown to be related to impairments in working memory, particularly those functions related to goal maintenance. In six studies, the link between trait inattention and working memory limitations was investigated with the aim of differentiating inattention from hyperactivity and impulsivity, which are commonly comorbid with inattention in ADHD. Across two studies, it was found that trait inattention predicted the daily life reports of mind wandering. However, this relationship was also observed in hyperactive and impulsive traits. Unique relationships were however observed between trait inattention and goal neglect (as measured by a letter-monitoring task). Furthermore, it was found that inattentive traits uniquely predicted decreased performance on task switching and Stroop tasks where the use of goal maintenance (proactive control) would be beneficial to task performance; and goal neglect mediated these relationships. I discuss how these findings relate to the inattention, goal neglect and proactive control literatures. The key finding was the consistent replication of the unique link between inattention and goal neglect frequency (Chapter 3, Chapter 5), and the role that goal neglect plays in producing impairments in proactive control use.

Source: Manual