Maintenance and shifting of task-specific sets of stimulus selection in neurologically normal persons and ADHD patients

This research project aims to explore the cognitive management of attentional constraints arising from dynamically changing demands of task-specific stimulus selection. It focuses on processes of integrating and switching between task-specific attentional sets. To this end, we present different tasks associated with varying fits of selection demands in close succession and analyze task performance as a function of attentional constraints in the other task. In this vein, we assess persistence and preparation of task-specific attentional sets and strategic processing adjustments made to the context of specific task combinations, to the occurrence of task-specific attention-related manipulations, and to between-task stimulus contingencies. Assessment of attentional processing includes measures of performance costs in set witching conditions as well as patterns of set-specific interference such as the modulation of attentional weights assigned to different stimulus features or dimensions. Investigations are made with normal participants as well as with patients with deficits of attention (i.e., Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, ADHD). Comparing groups of participants with and without ADHD, and contrasting groups associated with different subtypes of ADHD, will provide insights into specific impairments and abnormal strategies regarding flexibility and goal-directedness of stimulus processing in dual-task situations.

Project Team


DFG Priority Program SPP 1772 "Multitasking"