Der Effekt von Belohnungen auf die intraindividuelle Variabilität der Reaktionszeit bei erwachsenen ADHS-Patienten : eine Analyse anhand des Ex-Gauß’schen Verteilungsmodells

  • Increased intraindividual variability of reaction time is a main cognitive feature of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It is associated with deficits in sustained attention. While traditionally, mean and variance were used to characterize reaction time distributions, the ex-gaussian distributional model allows a more sophisticated analysis of reaction time series. Reaction time distributions are separated in a normal and an exponential component. The present study investigates the impact of incentives on reaction time variability in a sample of adult ADHD patients. ADHD is associated with increased Tau, the output parameter of the ex-gaussian model characterizing the exponential part of the distribution. Tau is linked to “lapses of attention”, which are more frequent in ADHD patients. It is known that tau can be modulated in ADHD Patients. It was therefore postulated that tau would be higher in ADHD Patients in a paradigm where quick answers were required but could be modulated by monetary incentives. In addition, the effect of “delay discounting”, which is more distinct in ADHD patients, on reaction time variability was investigated. Eventually, the association of variability measures with strength of ADHD symptoms was tested. To this end, reaction time distributions of 62 adult ADHD patients and 45 healthy controls from two different reaction time paradigms were analyzed. The monetary incentive delay task, by comprehending a control – and a win condition, allows an investigation of the effect of incentives on reaction times. Subjects had to react as fast as possible by keypress to a stimulus, after a cue signaled a possible monetary reward. During the Delay-Discounting-Task, subjects had to choose between sooner, but smaller, and higher delayed monetary rewards, during which they could use as much time for consideration as desired. Results show that an increased Tau in the control condition of the monetary- incentive-delay-task could be replicated, while a distinct influence of the win condition emerged. Subjects with ADHD showed an improvement of Tau in the win condition even below the level of healthy controls. However, they showed increased variability of the “regular” responses around the mean of the normal component of the distribution, represented by sigma. Moreover, it was indicated by trend a higher reaction time variability in ADHD patients during choices of delayed rewards. Tau was associated the current symptom strength as well as with the strength of ADHD-Symptoms during childhood, assessed by questionnaire. While the present results could have implications for etiological models of the disease, they may also contribute to the development of novel diagnostic methods. In advanced studies, neural correlates of sophisticated measures of reaction time variability should be investigated. Furthermore, they should be associated with genetic risk factors with regard to possible endophenotypes. Possible implications for clinical handling of patients should be explored.

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Author:Vera Christine DeppertGND
Place of publication:Frankfurt am Main
Referee:Oliver GrimmORCiDGND, Christine M. FreitagORCiDGND
Advisor:Oliver Grimm, Andreas Reif
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Date of Publication (online):2021/11/16
Year of first Publication:2021
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Granting Institution:Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität
Date of final exam:2021/11/15
Release Date:2021/12/16
Page Number:105
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht