CHU Amiens, Hôpital Nord, Dept Pédiatrie, Neurologie Pédiatrique & Lab. Neurosciences Fonctionnelles & Pathologies (CNRS UMR 8160), Amiens, Université Picardie Jules Verne, Lab. Efficience Cognitive dans les Conduites Humaines d’Apprentissage et de Travail (EA 2092), Amiens, CHRU Lille, Hôpital R Salengro, Lab. Neurosciences Fonctionnelles & Pathologies (CNRS UMR 8160), Lille, France
Children with epilepsy often have attention deficits, even when epilepsy is idiopathic and benign. The mechanisms underlying attention deficits are still unknown and appear to be different between focal and generalized epilepsy. In this study, an attentional capture paradigm was used to study and compare one aspect of attentional control, the resistance to interference from distractors, in 18 children with benign epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes (BECTS), 18 children with idiopathic generalized epilepsy and 18 controls aged 7-12 years. The results showed longer response times (RT) and more omissions in the two groups with epilepsy compared to controls. Attentional capture with longer response times in trials with a moving distractor compared to baseline condition with stationary distractors was found in both controls and children with epilepsy. The magnitude of interference from moving distractors was greater in the BECTS group than in the idiopathic generalized epilepsy group and in the controls group. These results suggest an impact of epilepsy on resistance to interference from distractors in children with BECTS.