Attention-deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, ADHD, Behavioral Inhibition, Stop-signal
The current study investigates two recently identified threats to the construct validity of behavioral inhibition as a core deficit of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) based on the Stop-signal task: calculation of mean reaction time from go-trials presented adjacent to intermittent stop-trials, and non-reporting of the stop-signal delay metric. Children with ADHD (n=12) and typically developing children (TD) (n=11) were administered the standard stop-signal task and three variant stop-signal conditions. These included a No-Tone condition administered without the presentation of an auditory tone; an Ignore-Tone condition that presented a neutral (i.e., not associated with stopping) auditory tone; and a second Ignore-Tone condition that presented a neutral auditory tone after the tone had been previously paired with stopping. Children with ADHD exhibited significantly slower and more variable reaction times to go-stimuli, and slower stop-signal reaction times (SSRT) relative to TD controls. Stop-signal delay (SSD) was not significantly different between groups, and both groups' go-trial reaction times slowed following meaningful tones. Collectively, these findings corroborate recent meta-analyses and indicate that previous findings of stop-signal performance deficits in ADHD reflect slower and more variable responding to visually presented stimuli and concurrent processing of a second stimulus, rather than deficits of motor behavioral inhibition.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Alderson, Robert, "ADHD And Stop-signal Behavioral Inhibition: Is Mean Reaction Time Contaminated By Exposure To Intermittent Stop-signals?" (2008). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 3770.