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Specificity of basic information processing and inhibitory control in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 April 2013

G. A. Salum*
Affiliation:
National Institute of Developmental Psychiatry for Children and Adolescents – CNPq, São Paulo, Brazil Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil
J. Sergeant
Affiliation:
Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
E. Sonuga-Barke
Affiliation:
University of Southampton, UK Ghent University, Belgium
J. Vandekerckhove
Affiliation:
University of California, USA
A. Gadelha
Affiliation:
National Institute of Developmental Psychiatry for Children and Adolescents – CNPq, São Paulo, Brazil Federal University of São Paulo, Brazil
P. M. Pan
Affiliation:
National Institute of Developmental Psychiatry for Children and Adolescents – CNPq, São Paulo, Brazil Federal University of São Paulo, Brazil
T. S. Moriyama
Affiliation:
National Institute of Developmental Psychiatry for Children and Adolescents – CNPq, São Paulo, Brazil Federal University of São Paulo, Brazil University of São Paulo, Brazil
A. S. Graeff-Martins
Affiliation:
National Institute of Developmental Psychiatry for Children and Adolescents – CNPq, São Paulo, Brazil University of São Paulo, Brazil
P. Gomes de Alvarenga
Affiliation:
National Institute of Developmental Psychiatry for Children and Adolescents – CNPq, São Paulo, Brazil University of São Paulo, Brazil
M. C. do Rosário
Affiliation:
National Institute of Developmental Psychiatry for Children and Adolescents – CNPq, São Paulo, Brazil Federal University of São Paulo, Brazil
G. G. Manfro
Affiliation:
National Institute of Developmental Psychiatry for Children and Adolescents – CNPq, São Paulo, Brazil Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil
G. Polanczyk
Affiliation:
National Institute of Developmental Psychiatry for Children and Adolescents – CNPq, São Paulo, Brazil University of São Paulo, Brazil
L. A. P. Rohde
Affiliation:
National Institute of Developmental Psychiatry for Children and Adolescents – CNPq, São Paulo, Brazil Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil University of São Paulo, Brazil
*
*Address for correspondence: G. A. Salum, M.D. Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre, Ramiro Barcelos, 2350, room 2202, 90035-003 Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil. (Email:gsalumjr@gmail.com)

Abstract

Background

Both inhibitory-based executive functioning (IB-EF) and basic information processing (BIP) deficits are found in clinic-referred attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) samples. However, it remains to be determined whether: (1) such deficits occur in non-referred samples of ADHD; (2) they are specific to ADHD; (3) the co-morbidity between ADHD and oppositional defiant disorder/conduct disorder (ODD/CD) has additive or interactive effects; and (4) IB-EF deficits are primary in ADHD or are due to BIP deficits.

Method

We assessed 704 subjects (age 6–12 years) from a non-referred sample using the Development and Well-Being Assessment (DAWBA) and classified them into five groups: typical developing controls (TDC; n = 378), Fear disorders (n = 90), Distress disorders (n = 57), ADHD (n = 100), ODD/CD (n = 40) and ADHD+ODD/CD (n = 39). We evaluated neurocognitive performance with a Two-Choice Reaction Time Task (2C-RT), a Conflict Control Task (CCT) and a Go/No-Go (GNG) task. We used a diffusion model (DM) to decompose BIP into processing efficiency, speed–accuracy trade-off and encoding/motor function along with variability parameters.

Results

Poorer processing efficiency was found to be specific to ADHD. Faster encoding/motor function differentiated ADHD from TDC and from fear/distress whereas a more cautious (not impulsive) response style differentiated ADHD from both TDC and ODD/CD. The co-morbidity between ADHD and ODD/CD reflected only additive effects. All ADHD-related IB-EF classical effects were fully moderated by deficits in BIP.

Conclusions

Our findings challenge the IB-EF hypothesis for ADHD and underscore the importance of processing efficiency as the key specific mechanism for ADHD pathophysiology.

Type
Original Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2013 

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