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The Relation Between Attention and Tic Generation in Tourette Syndrome

Misirlisoy, E; Brandt, V; Ganos, C; Tuebing, J; Muenchau, A; Haggard, P; (2015) The Relation Between Attention and Tic Generation in Tourette Syndrome. Neuropsychology , 29 (4) pp. 658-665. 10.1037/neu0000161. Green open access

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Abstract

Objective: Many neuropsychiatric disorders involve abnormal attentional processing. Systematic investigations of how attention may affect tic frequency in Tourette syndrome are lacking. Method: Patients performed rhythmic finger movements, approximately once every 2 s. Each movement triggered a unique visual color stimulus. Patients were asked to monitor and remember their finger actions, the external colors caused by their actions, or their tics. Sixteen adult Tourette syndrome patients performed each task twice: once while inhibiting tics, and once without inhibiting tics. Results: During the “freely tic” condition, patients had significantly fewer tics when attending to finger movements, or to the ensuing colors, compared with when attending to their tics. Attention to fingers produced the fewest tics overall. During tic suppression, tic frequency was reduced to an equal level in all conditions. Conclusions: Focusing attention away from tics significantly reduces tic frequency. This attentional process may operate by regulating motor noise.

Type: Article
Title: The Relation Between Attention and Tic Generation in Tourette Syndrome
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1037/neu0000161
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1037/neu0000161
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2014 The Author(s)This article has been published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Copyright for this article is retained by the author(s). Author(s) grant(s) the American Psychological Association the exclusive right to publish the article and identify itself as the original publisher.
Keywords: Tourette syndrome, tics, attention, inhibition, voluntary action
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1460683
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