Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : When engaged in a search task, one needs to arbitrate between exploring and exploiting the environment to optimize the outcome. Many intrinsic, task and environmental factors are known to influence the exploration/exploitation balance. Here, in a non clinical population, we show that the level of inattention (assessed as a trait) is one such factor: children with higher scores on an ADHD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) questionnaire exhibited longer transitions between consecutively retrieved items, in both a visual and a semantic search task. These more frequent exploration behaviours were associated with differential performance patterns: children with higher levels of ADHD traits performed better in semantic search, while their performance was unaffected in visual search. Our results contribute to the growing literature suggesting that ADHD should not be simply conceived as a pure deficit of attention, but also as a specific cognitive strategy that may prove beneficial in some contexts.