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December 2021

Evaluation of attentional processing impairment in Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome by the means of a dichotic listening task

Author(s): Bacque, M. F., Fleury, B.

Journal/Book: Cah Psychol Cognitive. 1999; 18: C N R S-C R N C 31, Chemin Joseph Alguier, 13402 Marseille Cedex 20, France. Adrsc-Assoc Diffusion Recherches Sciences Cognitives. 45-73.

Abstract: The present research explored the attentional impairments in OSAS patients through a dichotic listening task with attention forced to one ear. This rationale was adopted to clarify the conflicting data obtained with usual neuropsychological tests which seemed not well suited to explore attentional impairments (Telakivi et al., 1993). OSAS patients, with an Index of Apneas per Hour (IAH) higher than ten, Snorers (LAH < 10) and a control group of younger students had to detect auditory verbal targets presented dichotically with verbal distracters. The distractors differed from the target either by an acoustic or a semantic feature. Attention was oriented toward the target either by a peripheral (exogenous orienting) or by a central cue (endogenous orienting). The main concern of this study was to specify the components which could be preserved or altered in OSAS cognitive performance. Results showed that the verbal reaction times to detect a target in the attended ear were slower in the apneic patients than in the matched snorers and control students. This lengthening (160 ms on average) was observed when the detection of the target involves either controlled processing (i.e., a female voice for target and distracters; voluntary orienting of the attention towards the attended ear) or an automatic processing (i.e., a female voice for target and a male voice for distracters; automatic capturing of the attention by a lateralized tone cue). Although this pattern of results was not entirely predicted, it clearly revealed that OSAS presented attentional impairments: Namely, a difficulty to select an auditory verbal target presented with a verbal distracter. We discussed several. Hypotheses about the nature (auditory or attentional), the locus (cochlear, brainstem, and central) and the cause (nocturnal hypoxemia or fragmented sleep) of this dysfunctioning.

Note: Article Camus JF, Univ Paris 05, CNRS, Expt Psychol Lab, 28 Rue Serpente, F-75006 Paris, FRANCE

Keyword(s): Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome; attention; dichotic listening; auditory processing; POSITIVE AIRWAY PRESSURE; EVENT-RELATED POTENTIALS; LATERALIZED TONE CUE; COGNITIVE FUNCTION; SELECTIVE ATTENTION; EVOKED-POTENTIALS; AGE-DIFFERENCES; SEARCH; PSYCHOPATHOLOGY; DYSFUNCTION


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