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Deficient Post-error Slowing in Children with ADHD Is Limited to the Inattentive Subtype

  • Keri Shiels (a1), Leanne Tamm (a1) and Jeffery N. Epstein (a1)

Post-error slowing (i.e., slowing of a response on correct trials following an error) is thought to reflect adaptive behavior that may be impaired in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The current study examined post-error slowing in children with ADHD and typically developing controls on two cognitive tasks. Fifty-one ADHD-Combined type, 53 ADHD-Inattentive type, and 47 controls completed a Choice Discrimination and Stop Signal Task with incentive and event rate manipulations. Linear mixed models were used to examine reaction times surrounding errors (trial-by-trial). Pre-error speeding and pre- to post-error slowing occurred on both tasks. Impaired post-error slowing was only present on the Choice Discrimination Task for the ADHD-Inattentive type. Post-error slowing is impaired in children with ADHD-Inattentive type, but not ADHD-Combined type, on a simple attention task. These findings highlight the importance of considering task demands and ADHD subtype when examining post-error slowing and also provide a novel approach to quantifying post-error slowing. (JINS, 2012, 18, 612–617)

Corresponding author
Correspondence and reprint requests to: Jeff N. Epstein, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, 3333 Burnet Avenue, ML 10006, Cincinnati, OH 45229. E-mail:
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Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society
  • ISSN: 1355-6177
  • EISSN: 1469-7661
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