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Attention performance in people who clutter: a pilot study

Gosselin, E. and Ward, D. (2019) Attention performance in people who clutter: a pilot study. Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, 4 (6). pp. 1581-1588. ISSN 2381-473X

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1044/2019_pers-sig17-2019-0019


Background Cluttering is a fluency disorder that is mainly characterized by an abnormally rapid or irregular rate of speech. Additional symptoms have also been linked to cluttering, making it challenging to define and diagnose. One such feature contributing to this difficulty is poor attention. However, little evidence exists that explores attention performance in people who clutter (PWC) compared to the typical adult populations. This pilot study aimed to expand the evidence base by using a Stroop task to investigate attention performance in PWC. Method Four PWC and 4 gender-matched typical language controls completed a Stroop color-word task that looked specifically at interference and reactive inhibition, 2 aspects of attention. A 2 Groups (typical language controls, PWC) × 4 Conditions (neutral, incongruent, incongruent probe, congruent) repeated-measures analysis of variance was carried out for both dependent variables of reaction time and accuracy. Results There were no significant differences between groups for reaction time or accuracy. However, Stroop tasks require large sample sizes to yield significant results. A closer inspection of mean reaction time and accuracy data as well as the pairwise comparisons indicated that PWC performed similarly to controls on the components of the task that investigated interference. However, PWC performed differently on aspects of the task that tested reactive inhibition. Conclusions The results from this study indicate that PWC may have reduced inhibition. However, findings are preliminary, and further research with larger cohorts is needed to explore inhibition in PWC. In the interim, greater attention difficulties should not be ruled out and should be given consideration in the diagnosis and management of PWC.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
ID Code:87679
Publisher:American Speech Language Hearing Association

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