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Study: Negative Attention Bias in Adults with ADHD Could Indicate Comorbid Depression

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January 7, 2022A pattern of negative attention bias in adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) likely indicates comorbid depression, according to a Journal of Attention Disorders study.1 Attentional bias refers to the tendency to pay attention to certain stimuli while simultaneously ignoring others. “Negative attention bias in depression can be described as longer and more frequent attention allocation toward negative opposed to positive or neutral information.”The researchers compared the attention paid to emotional faces in patients with depression, ADHD, comorbid ADHD and depression, and neither condition.

Gaze duration, number of revisits, and location and duration of first fixation were recorded for each patient.As hypothesized, non-psychiatric controls revisited the happy faces more than they did the other expressions.

Patients in both the depression and the comorbid (ADHD and depression) group had significantly less recurring attendance to the happy facial expression when compared to the ADHD-only and control groups.

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