Disrupted attentional function in individuals with fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) has been noted in a number of previous studies. The cognitive mechanisms related to this disruption are not well-understood.
This study sought to identify whether differences exist in early attentional processing and attentional capacity in individuals with FMS measuring the attentional blink (AB).
Early attentional function was assessed in 16 females with FMS and compared with 16 healthy age-matched females without FMS.
Simple early visual stimulus target detection accuracy was not significantly different between groups. However, as target detection difficulty increased, individuals in the FMS group showed significantly poorer performance compared to healthy participants.
Our findings suggest that attentional disruption in individuals with FMS is associated with deficits in the early allocation of attentional resources during the completion of tasks with higher attentional demand.
Source: Psychology and Health, Jan 1, 2011. PubMed ID: 21598187, by Harker KT, Klein RM, Dick B, Verrier MJ, Rashiq S. Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.