Examining the relations among working memory capacity, ADHD symptology and conscious experience

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Leila Annie Beikmohamadi (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site: http://library.wcu.edu/
Matt Meier

Abstract: An operational definition of mind wandering is when one has thoughts unrelated to the current task(s) (Smallwood & Schooler, 2015). Mind blanking can be thought of as a subtype of mind wandering where there is an inability to report the content of these task-unrelated thoughts. Van den Driessche et al. (2017) found that children and young adults with more Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) symptoms report more mind blanking than those with fewer ADHD symptoms and that non-medicated children with ADHD reported less mind wandering and more mind blanking than medicated children with ADHD. Van den Driessche et al. speculated that medication facilitated executive control and that executive resources support mind wandering (and on-task thought). These findings also bear on the theoretical debate on the role of executive functions in conscious experience. Some argue that executive functions support mind wandering (Levinson et al., 2012; Smallwood, 2010), while others argue and that mind wandering situationally results from a lack (or failure) of executive control (McVay & Kane, 2010; Meier, 2019). In this study, with a young adult sample, I tested the association between ADHD symptomology and conscious experience and if executive resources moderate the proportion of reporting mind blanking and mind wandering. The current study found evidence for Van den Driessche et al.’s finding of a positive and significant association between mind blanking and ADHD symptomology. The current study was also broadly consistent with Van den Driessche et al.’s finding of an ADHD-related trade-off involving mind blanking, but importantly differs from Van den Driessche et al. in that mind wandering was not involved in this trade-off. The current study did not find an association between working memory capacity and mind wandering. Thus, I found no evidence for executive resources supporting mind wandering, consistent with previous studies (McVay & Kane, 2009, 2012a, 2012b; Meier, 2019; Robison & Unsworth, 2018; Unsworth & McMillan, 2013, 2014).

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2021
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder -- Symptoms

Email this document to