Motion-Induced Blindness as a Tool to Measure Attentional Biases and the Link to Attention- Deficit/Hyperactivity Traits

Cassandra McEwen, Bryan Paton, Naotsugu Tsuchiya, Jeroen J.A. van Boxtel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Typically, individuals have an attentional bias toward the left visual field. This is often absent in individuals with attention-deficit/hyperactivity (ADH) disorder (ADHD). We used a motion-induced blindness task with targets in 4 quadrants to assess left/right as well as upper/lower spatial biases in perceptual disappearances and also measured changes in the disappearances with time-on-task. Fiftyeight university students (41 female) completed the Conners Adult ADHD self-report short-form to assess the number of ADH traits, and 48 trials of a 1-min motion-induced blindness (MIB) task. Through a hybrid hypothesis-driven and data-driven analysis approach, we found that the MIB illusion increased with more ADH traits, decreased with time-on-task, and was stronger for left and lower quadrants. The time-on-task likely contributed to the strength of the illusion through changes in arousal, as pupil size decreased with time-on-trial in a subset of participants (n = 11) for whom we measure eye movements. In addition, although participants were biased toward the lower left visual field, this was, unexpectedly, most prominent with those with higher ADH traits. This novel result suggests an additive effect of left/right and upper/lower spatial biases. Taken together, this study supports an association between spatial attention, arousal and ADH traits in MIB.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1628-1643
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: General
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020


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