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.
Bibliographical noteFunding 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.
- Spatial working memory