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Atten Defic Hyperact Disord. 2019 Apr 1. doi: 10.1007/s12402-019-00299-3. [Epub ahead of print]

Interoceptive awareness in patients with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Hospital Tübingen, Calwerstr. 14, 72076, Tübingen, Germany.
2
International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS), Spemannstr. 35, 72076, Tübingen, Germany.
3
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Hospital Tübingen, Calwerstr. 14, 72076, Tübingen, Germany. thomas.dresler@med.uni-tuebingen.de.
4
LEAD Graduate School & Research Network, Walter-Simon-Str. 12, 72072, Tübingen, Germany. thomas.dresler@med.uni-tuebingen.de.
5
LEAD Graduate School & Research Network, Walter-Simon-Str. 12, 72072, Tübingen, Germany.
6
Graduate School of Neural and Behavioral Sciences, University of Tübingen, Österbergstr. 3, 72074, Tübingen, Germany.
7
Department of Psychology, School Psychology, University of Tübingen, Schleichstr. 4, 72076, Tübingen, Germany.
8
Centre for Integrative Neuroscience, Otfried-Müller-Str. 25, 72076, Tübingen, Germany.

Abstract

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neuropsychiatric disorder normally diagnosed in childhood and persisting into adulthood in up to two-thirds of the patients. Its core symptoms comprise inattention and hyperactive-impulsive behaviours. Several studies suggest that patients with ADHD show alterations in self-regulation and self-monitoring. So far, it has not been described whether these deficits also affect the awareness of one's own bodily signals, that is, interoceptive awareness. To investigate possible alterations in interoceptive awareness, 14 adult patients with ADHD and 16 healthy controls performed a heartbeat detection task, in which they had to count their heartbeat without any external help (e.g. visualization on a screen). As an indicator of the individual interoceptive awareness ability, a score based on the comparison between recorded and counted heart beats was calculated. Our results showed that patients with ADHD performed significantly worse on this task than controls, which indicates that they were less aware of internal bodily signals while additionally experiencing deficits in regulating and monitoring their own (overt) behaviours.

KEYWORDS:

ADHD; Interoception; Interoceptive awareness; Self-regulation

PMID:
30937850
DOI:
10.1007/s12402-019-00299-3

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