Distribution-analytical techniques in the study of AD/HD: Delta plot analyses reveal deficits in response inhibition that are eliminated by methylphenidate treatment

K.R. Ridderinkhof, A. Scheres, J. Oosterlaan, J.A. Sergeant

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Abstract

The authors highlight the utility of distribution-analytical techniques in the study of individual differences and clinical disorders. Cognitive deficits associated with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) were examined by using delta-plot analyses of performance data (reaction time and accuracy) obtained through the use of a prototypical conflict task, the Eriksen flanker task. In 20 children with AD/HD (compared with matched control participants), overall performance measures indicated a marginal performance deficit. Delta-plot analyses indicated that performance deficits associated with AD/HD involve response inhibition but not automatic response activation. In a within-subjects titration study, the response inhibition deficit was eliminated by methylphenidate treatment, but these effects were highly dose specific. The beneficial effect of methylphenidate was clarified further after correcting for interindividual variation in sensitivity to medicine dosage. Copyright 2005 by the American Psychological Association.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-215
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Abnormal Psychology
Volume114
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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