Visual processing deficits due to HIV: Evidence from temporal order judgments


Numerous empirical reports have demonstrated cognitive deficits after contracting HIV. While the majority of these findings have incorporated traditional neuropsychological tests (e.g., California Verbal Learning Test, Trail-Making), very little work has investigated visual temporal processing, and how spatial attention is distributed, and potentially adversely affected, by HIV infection. In this preliminary study we used a temporal order judgment task that required participants to accurately judge the successiveness of laterally presented asynchronous events. Attention was spatially directed by a peripheral cue prior to each trial, in order to assess deficits in orientation to reflexive cues. The findings demonstrated that people with HIV required more time to accurately judge temporal order when compared with a sample without HIV. However, the cue captured attention equally regardless of HIV status. The broader conclusion is that HIV may lead to impairment in visual temporal processing, without adverse effects on the distribution of spatial attention.

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