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Title: Investigation of the effects of arousal on cognitive performance in adults with ADHD
Author: Helfer, Bartosz
ISNI:       0000 0004 8500 1036
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2019
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The overarching theme of this thesis is the effect of arousal and some closely related concepts, such as sleepiness, mind wandering and emotional lability, on cognitive performance measures, under different experimental conditions and using multiple methods. The thesis starts with a broad overview of attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults and an outline of the research questions (Chapter 1). It then proceeds with reports of the experimental studies (Chapter 2-6). The thesis is concluded with a general discussion and a detailed summary (Chapter 7-8). In Chapter 2, I investigate the effect of mind wandering, emotional lability and sleep quality on ADHD symptom severity, in a sample of adults diagnosed with ADHD, using serial multiple mediation models. In Chapter 3, I evaluate differences in daytime sleepiness in adults with ADHD compared to neurotypical controls, using an observer-rated sleepiness protocol during a sustained attention task. I also use a quantitative electroencephalographic measure of cortical slowing. In Chapter 4, I present details of the BIND study, which was specifically conducted for this PhD. In Chapter 5, I investigate the differences in emotional processing of faces in a sample of adults with ADHD, ASD and neurotypical controls who are matched for IQ. I use a facial emotion recognition task which includes an additional control condition, as well as the emotions of anger, fear, disgust and surprise. In Chapter 6, I investigate differences in reaction time variability, speed of left and right visual field processing, tonic pupil dilations and phasic pupil responses in adults with ADHD versus neurotypical controls under the slow condition and the fast/ incentive condition of the Fast Task. Chapter 7 includes: 1) a discussion on conceptualizations of mental health, and how this could effectively move scientific understanding forward; 2) a discussion of arousal and allied concepts in the context of ADHD; and, 3) a critical analysis of selected concepts, assumptions and methods. In Chapter 8, I summarize the key experimental findings, discuss general limitations and strengths of this thesis, as well as offer recommendations for future studies.
Supervisor: Asherson, Philip John Elliot ; Kuntsi, Jonna Pauliina Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available