Visual search in migraine and visual discomfort groups
Two experiments that investigate automatic and conscious attention among migraine and visual discomfort groups are reported. The prediction of a heightened sensory sensitivity producing a processing speed advantage in migraine was tested. In Experiment 1, an automatic attention task was conducted. There was no effect of migraine group, but the high visual discomfort group responded significantly more slowly than the low visual discomfort group when 16 distractors were presented. In Experiment 2, a conscious visual attention task was conducted. No processing-speed advantage was found for migraine groups. In all conditions, the high visual discomfort group performed significantly more slowly than other groups. It was concluded that heightened sensory sensitivity could not explain the processing speed advantage found previously in migraine but may explain the processing speed disadvantage found for the high visual discomfort group. Results are discussed in terms of disordered sustained attention in the high visual discomfort group.