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Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2018 Sep;92:464-476. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2018.07.010. Epub 2018 Jul 20.

Mind wandering perspective on attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

Author information

1
King's College London, Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, Denmark Hill, De Crespigny Park, SE5 8AF, United Kingdom. Electronic address: Natali.bozhilova@kcl.ac.uk.
2
King's College London, Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, Denmark Hill, De Crespigny Park, SE5 8AF, United Kingdom.
3
King's College London, Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, Denmark Hill, De Crespigny Park, SE5 8AF, United Kingdom. Electronic address: philip.asherson@kcl.ac.uk.

Abstract

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a common neurodevelopmental disorder associated with a range of mental health, neurocognitive and functional problems. Although the diagnosis is based on descriptions of behaviour, individuals with ADHD characteristically describe excessive spontaneous mind wandering (MW). MW in individuals with ADHD reflects constant mental activity which lacks topic stability and content consistency. Based on this review of the neural correlates of ADHD and MW, we outline a new perspective on ADHD: the MW hypothesis. We propose that altered deactivation of the default mode network, and dysfunctional interaction with the executive control network, leads to excessive and spontaneous MW, which underpins symptoms and impairments of ADHD. We highlight that processes linked to the normal neural regulation of MW (context regulation, sensory decoupling, salience thresholds) are deficient in ADHD. MW-related measures could serve as markers of the disease process, as MW can be experimentally manipulated, as well as measured using rating scales, and experience sampling during both cognitive tasks and daily life. MW may therefore be a potential endophenotype.

KEYWORDS:

ADHD; Default mode network; Executive control network; Mind wandering; Theory

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