Sustained Attention in the Face of Distractors: A Study of Children with Rett Syndrome
Rose, Susan A., Wass, S., Jankowski, James J., Feldman, Judith F. and Djukic, Aleksandra 2017. Sustained Attention in the Face of Distractors: A Study of Children with Rett Syndrome. Neuropsychology. 31 (4), pp. 403-410.
|Authors||Rose, Susan A., Wass, S., Jankowski, James J., Feldman, Judith F. and Djukic, Aleksandra|
Objective. The object of the present study is to advance our understanding of the cognitive profile of Rett Syndrome (RTT), an x-linked neurodevelopmental disorder caused by mutations in the MECP2 gene. We focus on sustained attention, which plays a critical role in driving cognitive growth, and use an innovative, gaze-based task that minimizes demands on the limited verbal and motor abilities associated with RTT.
Public Statement. Rett syndrome is an x-linked neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by a developmental regression that typically begins between 6 and 18 months, robs the child of purposeful hand use and expressive language, and results in the development of numerous medical problems. These deficits make standard neuropsychological testing becomes all but impossible, and thus little is known about their cognitive abilities. We were able to by-pass the motoric and language problems using eye-tracking technology. Here we used an innovative gaze-based task to assess sustain attention, a core driver of cognitive growth. We found that children with Rett Syndrome showed impairments in sustained attention, and on three fundamental factors influencing sustained attention: engagement, distractibility, and re-engagement. Children with Rett Syndrome were slower to engage, more distractible, and slower to re-engage than their age-matched peers. This work not only begins to elucidate the nature of the cognitive problems associated with Rett syndrome, but is essential for designing markers to assess the effects of pharmacological interventions.
|Keywords||Rett syndrome; sustained attention; gaze-based task; eye-tracking; cognition|
|Journal citation||31 (4), pp. 403-410|
|Publisher||American Psychological Association|
|Accepted author manuscript|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)||doi:10.1037/neu0000369|
|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||18 May 2017|
|Accepted||13 Feb 2017|
|Funder||International Rett Syndrome Foundation (IRSF)|
|International Rett Syndrome Foundation|
|Copyright information||©American Psychological Association, 2017. This paper is not the copy of record and may not exactly replicate the authoritative document published in the APA journal. Please do not copy or cite without author's permission. The final article is available, upon publication, at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/neu0000369|
|License||All rights reserved|
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