- Increased performance uncertainty in children with ADHD? - Elevated post-imperative negative variation (PINV) over the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (2011)
- Background: We aimed to investigate the influences of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) on response evaluation, as reflected by the postimperative negative variation (PINV), a slow event-related potential. Methods: We investigated PINV as an indicator of performance uncertainty in an audio-visual contingent negative variation (CNV) paradigm with an interstimulus interval of 3 seconds. A constant, unilateral, quick motor reaction with either the right or the left thumb was required after an auditory forewarned (S1) visual imperative stimulus (S2). We examined 18 ADHD patients (combined or hyperactive-impulsive subtype) aged between 8 and 14 years and an age-, sex and IQ-matched control group of 19 healthy subjects using 64-channel high-density EEG. A first run was recorded drug-free, a second one under methylphenidate (MPH) medication in the ADHD group. Results: We found a significantly increased negativity of the PINV-component over the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex in ADHD children compared to the healthy control group. PINV amplitude was influenced by movement side, most likely due to the slightly more difficult task when left hand responses were required. After the intake of MPH, PINV amplitudes of ADHD children normalized. Conclusions: We conclude that children with ADHD are likely to be more uncertain about the correctness of their performance and interpret the increased PINV as a hint towards compensatory mechanisms for a deficit in the evaluation of contingencies. Further studies are needed to assess the exact extent to which remainders of eye-movement related potentials contribute to PINV amplitude despite the correction for eye-artifacts.