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Impairment of executive functions in boys with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder

Fuggetta, G; (2006) Impairment of executive functions in boys with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Child Neuropsychology , 12 (1) pp.1 - 21.

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Abstract

The main aim of the present study is to compare the efficiency of executive control processes in 24 boys with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and 58 normal controls of similar age (between 8 and 11 years). Three reaction time (RT) paradigms were utilized: a dual task that requires coordination of two tasks responses, a shift task that makes it necessary to disengage attention from one task and engage into another one, and a stimulus-response spatial compatibility task that requires participants to inhibit a prepotent response. Another purpose of the study is to examine whether Barkley's (1997) executive dysfunction or Sergeant et al.'s (1999) resource allocation/arousal model best account for the behavioral deficits associated with ADHD. Examination of raw RT data showed significantly poorer performance in ADHD children with respect to age-matched controls on both the higher-level cognitive functions of executive control and on lower-level abilities (e.g., speed of processing) of all tasks of this study. However, using proportional transformations of raw RT data, we could demonstrate that, in addition to differences in processing speed, also executive control processes were significantly impaired in children with ADHD. The main aim of the present study is to compare the efficiency of executive control processes in 24 boys with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and 58 normal controls of similar age (between 8 and 11 years). Three reaction time (RT) paradigms were utilized: a dual task that requires coordination of two tasks responses, a shift task that makes it necessary to disengage attention from one task and engage into another one, and a stimulus-response spatial compatibility task that requires participants to inhibit a prepotent response. Another purpose of the study is to examine whether Barkley's (1997) executive dysfunction or Sergeant et al.'s (1999) resource allocation/arousal model best account for the behavioral deficits associated with ADHD. Examination of raw RT data showed significantly poorer performance in ADHD children with respect to age-matched controls on both the higher-level cognitive functions of executive control and on lower-level abilities (e.g., speed of processing) of all tasks of this study. However, using proportional transformations of raw RT data, we could demonstrate that, in addition to differences in processing speed, also executive control processes were significantly impaired in children with ADHD.

Type:Article
Title:Impairment of executive functions in boys with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder
Additional information:Imported via OAI, 7:29:01 24th Mar 2007
UCL classification:UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Psychology and Language Sciences (Division of) > Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences

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