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Title: The role of the superior colliculus in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
Author: Panagiotidi, Maria
ISNI:       0000 0004 5917 9412
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2016
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Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the most common developmental disorder defined by an attentional dysfunction, hyperactive/impulsive behaviour or both. Recent evidence from animal studies suggest that the superior colliculus (SC), a multimodal laminar structure located in the midbrain that belongs to a distributed network of areas mediating saccadic eye movements, shifts of attention, and multimodal integration might be abnormal in individuals with ADHD. The goal of this thesis is to investigate the role of the superior colliculus in humans. A comprehensive review of the existing evidence supporting the collicular hypothesis of ADHD is included. The following chapters present a series of experiments attempting to test collicular sensitivity in children with ADHD and healthy volunteers with varying level of ADHD traits (as assessed in the Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale). The first study examines distractibility by employing a new paradigm using intermittent far-peripheral distractors embedded on a sustained attention task and shows that individuals with high ADHD are associated with abnormal distractor processing. A second study investigates the temporal aspects of multisensory integration in individuals with high and low ADHD and presents preliminary evidence for abnormal multisensory integration in ADHD. A third study looks at the relationship between ADHD traits and the rate and characteristics of microsaccades during a sustained fixation paradigm. A positive relationship is shown between ADHD traits and microsaccade rates. Finally, a fourth study examines visual field differences between children with ADHD and age-matched controls using optical perimetry testing. Significantly smaller visual field sizes are reported in ADHD compared to controls. Overall, this thesis offers initial support for the superior colliculus hypothesis of ADHD. The possibility of using collicular paradigms as biomarkers for ADHD is discussed.
Supervisor: Stafford, Tom ; Overton, Paul Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available