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J Abnorm Child Psychol. 1999 Feb;27(1):25-33.

Heart rate variability and sustained attention in ADHD children.

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  • 1Laboratory of Experimental Clinical Psychology, Groningen, The Netherlands.


The major goal of the current study was to investigate the association between continuous performance tests (CPTs) and the heart rate variability (HRV) of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) children. The HRV, specifically the 0.10-Hz component, may be considered to be a psychophysiological index of effort allocation (motivation): The less effort the subject allocates, the greater the 0.10-Hz component. Results indicated that, compared to controls, ADHD subjects had a greater 0.10-Hz component, which was associated with poor test performance over time. Thus, using a psychophysiological measure, we were able to confirm the clinical concept of ADHD from a motivational perspective.

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