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Psychiatry Res. 1996 Oct 16;64(3):179-92.

Auditory event-related potentials to a two-tone discrimination paradigm in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

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Department of Psychology, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia.


Auditory event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded from 10 children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and 10 age-, sex-, and IQ-matched control children. ERPs were recorded from 17 electrodes during an auditory two-tone discrimination ("oddball') paradigm. Subjects were instructed to press a hand-held response button to infrequently presented target tones. ERP components elicited to target and non-target stimuli were analyzed for between-group differences. Results indicated that for the children with ADHD relative to control children, an N2 component to non-target stimuli was larger in the posterior region and smaller in the frontal region. The P3b component to target stimuli was smaller in the posterior region and larger in the frontal region for the ADHD group compared with the control group. The between-group differences in P3b scalp distribution are indicative of a between-group difference in the neural generators of P3b. It is proposed that the ADHD group, relative to controls, utilizes an additional cognitive process when processing task-relevant stimuli. This process is more frontally distributed and may reflect an attentional compensation mechanism in the ADHD group.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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