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Grant Number: 1R01MH074770PI: Jeff Epstein, PhDCollaborators: Joshua Langberg, PhD; Bill Brinkman, MD; Tanya Froehlich, MD; Robert Kahn, MD; Mekibib Altaye, PhD
Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have numerous areas of neuropsychological dysfunction including response inhibition, working memory and attention. One neuropsychological outcome measure that consistently reveals between-group differences is response variability. However, until recently, differences in response variability have been reported as an ancillary finding or viewed as a nuisance in the analyses.
The specific aims are to:
Understand the relationship between neuropsychological measures of response variability and naturalistic instances of variable performance. Forty-five children (aged 7-11) with ADHD, Combined Type, 45 children with ADHD, Predominantly Inattentive Type and 45 normal controls will be recruited to examine response variability across a wide range of neuropsychological tests. Task parameters such as event rate, stimulus saliency and the presence of operant reward will be modified on each test to determine the conditions under which response variability is manifested in children with ADHD.
In addition, all children with ADHD will participate in a placebo-controlled, randomized medication trial with a psychostimulant medication to assess the effects of medication on response variability. Also, the effects of task parametric manipulations and medication on response variability will be examined. Finally, relations between response variability on neuropsychological tests and response variability in a variety of real-world analog situations will be examined to evaluate the ecological validity of these deficits.
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