Electrophysiological evidence of enhanced distractibility in ADHD children

Valentina Gumenyuk, Oleg Korzyukov, C Escera, Mirja Hämäläinen, Minna Huotilainen, Taru Häyrinen, Henna Oksanen, Risto Näätänen, Lennart Wendt von, Kimmo Alho

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelVetenskapligPeer review


Abnormal involuntary attention leading to enhanced distractibility may account for different behavioral and cognitive problems in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This was investigated in the present experiment by recording event-related brain potentials (ERPs) to distracting novel sounds during performance of a visual discrimination task. The overall performance in the visual task was less accurate in the ADHD children than in the control children, and the ADHD children had a higher number of omitted responses following novel sounds. In both groups, the distracting novel sounds elicited a biphasic P3a ERP component and a subsequent frontal Late Negativity (LN). The early phase of P3a (180-240 ms) had significantly smaller amplitudes over the fronto-central left-hemisphere recording sites in the ADHD children than in the control group presumably due to an overlapping enhanced left-hemisphere dominant negative ERP component elicited in the ADHD group. Moreover, the late phase of P3a (300-350 ms) was significantly larger over the left parietal scalp areas in the ADHD children than in the controls. The LN had a smaller amplitude and shorter latency over the frontal scalp in the ADHD group than in the controls. In conclusion, the ERP and behavioral effects caused by the novel sounds reveal deficient control of involuntary attention in ADHD children that may underlie their abnormal distractibility. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
TidskriftNeuroscience Letters
Sidor (från-till)212-217
Antal sidor6
StatusPublicerad - 2005
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad


  • 515 Psykologi
  • 3124 Neurologi och psykiatri

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