Regulation of cognitive resources during an n-back task in youth-onset psychosis and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

Canan Karatekin, Christopher Bingham, Tonya White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The goals of the current study were to use behavioral and pupillary measures to examine working memory on a spatial n-back task in 8-20-year-olds with youth-onset psychosis or ADHD (Combined subtype) and healthy controls to determine the contribution of different attentional factors to spatial working memory impairments, and to examine if age-related changes in performance differed across groups. Although both clinical groups had lower perceptual sensitivity on both 0- and 1-back, there was no evidence of an impairment in spatial working memory or differential order effects on the 0-back. Instead, results suggest that both clinical groups had difficulty encoding the stimuli. They also appeared to have difficulty maintaining attention and/or readiness to respond, and, to a lesser extent, recruiting resources on a trial-to-trial basis. It is likely that these attentional problems prevented the clinical groups from encoding the stimuli effectively and contributed to their general performance deficits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)294-307
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Psychophysiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the families and teachers for participating in the study; Afshan Anjum, Angie Guimaraes, Bonnie Houg, Cacy Miranda, Kathryn McGraw-Schuchman, and Marie Gabrielle Reed for helping with diagnostic assessments; Clay Collins, Nicholas Davenport, Anita Fuglestad, David Marcus, and Marcus Schmidt for helping with data collection and analyses; and research assistants for helping with data entry and organization. Funding was provided by NIMH ( 1RO3-MH063150 ), NIMH (K08-MH068540), National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD), the Essel Foundation, and the University of Minnesota Center for Neurobehavioral Development.


  • ADHD
  • Encoding
  • N-back
  • Psychosis
  • Pupillometry
  • Schizophrenia
  • Spatial working memory
  • Variability


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