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J Abnorm Child Psychol. 1989 Oct;17(5):473-91.

Effects of methylphenidate on inhibitory control in hyperactive children.

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Department of Psychiatry Research, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Erratum in

  • J Abnorm Child Psychol 1990 Feb;18(1):119.


This study investigated the effects of methylphenidate (MPH) on inhibitory control in hyperactive children. A double-blind, placebo-control, within-subject (crossover) design was used in which 12 children, between 6 and 11 years of age, were each tested four times in each drug condition: 0.3 mg/kg and 1.0 mg/kg of methylphenidate, and placebo. Dependent measures included (a) the probability of inhibiting responses to a primary choice reaction time task given a stop signal, on the Stopping Task, and (b) response latency and errors on the Matching Familiar Figures Test (MFFT). MPH improved the efficiency of the central inhibitory mechanism by speeding the inhibitory process, thereby affording the children greater control over their actions and enabling them to increase the probability with which they inhibited responses given a stop signal. MPH increased response latency but did not reduce errors on the MFFT, and observation of the children's task performance highlighted the interpretive problems associated with this task. Performance on both tasks was better at a dosage of 1.0 mg/kg than at 0.3 mg/kg.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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