Sustained attention in sensory modulation disorder and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder

Tal Mazor-Karsenty, Shula Parush, Lilach Shalev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: There are high comorbidity rates between sensory modulation disorder (SMD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Knowledge regarding the objective neuropsychological differentiation between them is scarce. Aim: This study examines the effects of SMD and ADHD on a sustained attention task with and without aversive auditory conditions. Method: Sixty six young adult females were tested on the Conjunctive - Continuous Performance Task-Visual (CCPT-V) measuring sustained attention, under two conditions: 1) aversive condition (with the three most aversive sounds chosen by the participant), and 2) non-aversive condition (without sounds). Results: Both the SMD and ADHD factors exhibited performance deficits in the sustained attention task. All study participants performed worse on both sustained attention and speed of processing when aversive sounds were present. Conclusion: We conclude that impaired sustained attention cannot differentiate between SMD and ADHD. Hence, these results should be taken under consideration in the assessment process of ADHD vs. SMD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-29
Number of pages8
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
StatePublished - May 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Ltd


  • Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Aversive auditory stimuli
  • Continuous performance task
  • Sensory modulation disorder (SMD)
  • Sustained attention


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