Altered response control and anterior cingulate function in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder boys

Clin Neurophysiol. 2004 Apr;115(4):973-81. doi: 10.1016/j.clinph.2003.11.036.


Objective: To investigate mechanisms and structures underlying prefrontal response control and inhibition in boys suffering from attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Method: Sixteen boys with ADHD and 19 healthy controls were investigated electrophysiologically during performance of a visual Go-Nogo task (Continuous Performance Test, CPT). An electrophysiological source localization method was employed to further analyze the data.

Results: The ADHD boys showed a significantly diminished central Nogo-P3, due to a lack of Nogo-related frontalization of the positive brain electrical field in this group. This two-dimensional effect was associated with a significantly reduced activation of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) in the ADHD boys in the Nogo condition of the CPT. Both groups did not significantly differ regarding the amplitude of the Nogo-N2.

Conclusions: The results indicate deficits in prefrontal response control in unmedicated ADHD boys that do not seem to be specifically inhibitory in nature. A supposed dysfunction of the ACC in ADHD was confirmed.

MeSH terms

  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / physiopathology*
  • Child
  • Electroencephalography
  • Gyrus Cinguli / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neural Inhibition
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiopathology
  • Reaction Time