Neurophysiological markers of ADHD symptoms in typically-developing children

  • Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are characterized by symptoms of inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. Neurophysiological correlates of ADHD include changes in the P3 component of event-related brain potentials (ERPs). Motivated by recent advances towards a more dimensional understanding of ADHD, we investigate whether ADHD-related ERP markers relate to continuous variations in attention and executive functioning also in typically-developing children. ERPs were measured while 31 school children (9–11 years) completed an adapted version of the Continuous Performance Task that additionally to inhibitory processes also isolates effects of physical stimulus salience. Children with higher levels of parent-reported ADHD symptoms did not differ in task performance, but exhibited smaller P3 amplitudes related to stimulus salience. Furthermore, ADHD symptoms were associated with the variability of neural responses over time: Children with higher levels of ADHD symptoms demonstrated lower variability in inhibition- and salience-related P3 amplitudes. No effects were observed for ERP latencies and the salience-related N2. By demonstrating that ADHD-associated neurophysiological mechanisms of inhibition and salience processing covary with attention and executive functioning in a children community sample, our study provides neurophysiological support for dimensional models of ADHD. Also, temporal variability in event-related potentials is highlighted as additional indicator of ADHD requiring further investigation.

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Author:Kirsten HilgerORCiDGND, Jona SassenhagenORCiDGND, Jan Kühnhausen, Merle Reuter, Ulrike Schwarz, Caterina Gawrilow, Christian FiebachORCiDGND
Parent Title (English):Scientific Reports
Publisher:Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature
Place of publication:London
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2020/12/31
Date of first Publication:2020/12/31
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2021/01/04
Issue:Nr. 1, Article number: 22460
Page Number:15
Institutes:Psychologie und Sportwissenschaften / Psychologie
Dewey Decimal Classification:1 Philosophie und Psychologie / 15 Psychologie / 150 Psychologie
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0