The assessment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children using continous performance tasks in virtual environments
Gutiérrez-Maldonado J., Letosa-Porta A., Rus-Calafell M., Penaloza-Salazar C.
The assessment of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) involves the use of different instruments, and one of the most frequently used is the Continuous Performance Test (CPT). Virtual reality allows for the achieving of the presentation of stimuli with high levels of control. In addition, it facilitates the presentation of distracters with a high level of resemblance to elements which in fact can be found in the real world by placing them in a similar context. Thus, it is possible to assume that a higher ecological validity can be found in CPT tests performed in this manner as compared to the traditional CPT test. During the last years Rizzo developed a virtual reality based CPT called "the Virtual Classroom". Several studies show that "Virtual Classroom" is an effective measure to identify attention difficulties in children with ADHD. Our research team developed a virtual CPT, similar to the Virtual Classroom", that allows to execute four different tasks: an auditory task with non-distractive stimuli, an auditory task with distractive stimuli, a visual task with non-distractive stimuli and a visual task with distractive stimuli. In this study, we offer additional data supporting the validity of using this type of technology for the assessment of ADHD. © 2009, Facultat de Psicologia Universitat de Barcelona.