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Psychiatry Res. 2017 Aug;254:1-7. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2017.04.027. Epub 2017 Apr 18.

Attentional control of emotional interference in children with ADHD and typically developing children: An emotional N-back study.

Author information

1
EA 2007, Psychopathology and Neuropsychology Lab., Université Paris 8, Saint-Denis, France; UR2NF - Neuropsychology and Functional Neuroimaging Research Unit, Centre de Recherche Cognition et Neurosciences, Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Bruxelles, Belgium. Electronic address: t.villemonteix@gmail.com.
2
Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Neurology, Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy, University Medicine Rostock, Rostock, Germany.
3
Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Robert-Debré Hospital, Paris, France; Inserm, U894, Psychiatry and NeurosciXence Center, Paris, France.
4
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Medicine Rostock, Rostock, Germany.
5
Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Robert-Debré Hospital, Paris, France.
6
UR2NF - Neuropsychology and Functional Neuroimaging Research Unit, Centre de Recherche Cognition et Neurosciences, Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Bruxelles, Belgium; Laboratory of Experimental Neurology, ULB, Bruxelles, Belgium; National Fund of Scientific Research (FNRS) Belgium.

Abstract

Emotional interference control refers to the ability to remain focused on goal-oriented processes when confronted with disrupting but irrelevant emotional stimuli, a process that may be impaired in children and adults with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, emotional interference levels are known to be associated with trait anxiety, and patients with ADHD often display elevated levels of trait anxiety, such as these may have confounded previous findings of decreased emotional interference control in this population. In the present study, male and female 8-13 years old (mean =11.0 years) children with ADHD (n=33) and typically developing (TD) children (n=24) performed a visual emotional working memory (n-back) task with 2 memory loads and three different background pictures (neutral/positive/negative), and trait anxiety measures were obtained. Children with ADHD performed less well, and displayed increased emotional interference in the presence of aversive distractors when compared with TD children. Contrary to our expectations, trait anxiety did not mediate the association between diagnostic group membership and the degree of emotional interference control; however, co-morbid ODD was associated with decreased levels of emotional interference in ADHD. Future research should aim at characterizing the mechanisms subtending decreased emotional interference control in the ADHD population.

KEYWORDS:

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD); Emotion regulation; Emotional interference; Working memory, Interference control

PMID:
28437666
DOI:
10.1016/j.psychres.2017.04.027
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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