Divided attention deficits in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome

Sharon Ross, Bryan Fantie, Stephen F. Straus, Jordan Grafman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) patients and controls were compared on a variety of mood state, personality, and neuropsychological measures, including memory, word finding, and attentional tasks that required participants to focus, sustain, or divide their attention, or to perform a combination of these functions. CFS patients demonstrated a selective deficit on 3 measures of divided attention. Their performance on the other neuropsychological tests of intelligence, fluency, and memory was no different than that of normal controls despite their reports of generally diminished cognitive capacity. There was an inverse relation between CFS patient fatigue severity and performance on 1 of the divided attention measures. Given these findings, it is probable that CFS patients will report more cognitive difficulties in real-life situations that cause them to divide their effort or rapidly reallocate cognitive resources between 2 response channels (vision and audition).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4-11
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Neuropsychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001


  • Attention
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Divided attention
  • Memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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