Stroop Color-Word Task as a Measure of Selective Attention: Efficiency in Closed-Head-Injured Patients

Eli Vakil, Haim Weisz, Lea Jedwab, Zeev Groswasser, Sara Aberbuch

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33 Scopus citations


Deficits in attention and concentration are reported to be among the most common symptoms following head injury. Various underlying mechanisms of selective attention such as excitation, inhibition, and habituation have been isolated in recent studies. In the present study 27 control and 25 closed-head-in-jured (CHI) subjects were compared on four conditions based on the Stroop color-word task (neutral, habituation, Stroop, and negative priming). Cross-comparison of the different tasks enables examination of the various components of selective attention. The hypothesis that the control group's overall reading time would be faster than that of the CHI group was confirmed. Also confirmed was the hypothesis that the overall reading time pattern between task conditions would be neutral < habituation < Stroop < negative priming. The prediction that the CHI patients, due to their impaired inhibitory mechanism, would not show a slower reading time on the negative priming as compared to the Stroop condition, was confirmed as well. The theoretical and diagnostic implications of the results are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-342
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1995

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Several studies have tested selective attention in the head-injured with the Stroop color-word test (Stroop, 1935). In the standard administration of the Stroop color-word task, subjects * Supported by the Schnitzeler Foundation for Research on the Israeli Economy and Society. Address correspondence to: Eli Vakil, Ph.D., Psychology Department, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Can, 52900, Israel. Accepted for publication: September 11, 1994.


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