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Biol Psychiatry. 2005 Jun 1;57(11):1256-60.

A developmental perspective on the measurement of cognitive deficits in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia 30602-3013, USA.


Research on the cognitive deficits associated with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder has highlighted deficits in executive function in individuals with the disorder. This article suggests deconstructing the umbrella term "executive function" and focuses on one of its component processes: cognitive inhibition. Cognitive developmental psychology research suggests that component processes, such as cognitive inhibition, should be examined from a variety of approaches to fully appreciate patterns of competency and deficit. This article contrasts cognitive inhibition from behavioral inhibition and resistance to interference. Two types of cognitive inhibition, automatic and intentional, are proposed. Finally, suggestions for guiding research design are taken from the cognitive developmental psychology literature. These include studying very limited age ranges and conducting longitudinal research, investigating qualitative and quantitative differences in performance, examining the underlying processing and strategy differences between populations, and investigating multiple aspects of performance between populations.

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