Training of slow cortical potentials in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: evidence for positive behavioral and neurophysiological effects

Biol Psychiatry. 2004 Apr 1;55(7):772-5. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2003.11.013.


Background: Learned self-control of slow cortical potentials (SCPs) may lead to behavioral improvement in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Hence, training effects should also be reflected at the neurophysiological level.

Methods: Thirteen children with ADHD, aged 7-13 years, performed 25 SCP training sessions within 3 weeks. Before and after training, the German ADHD rating scale was completed by parents, and event-related potentials were recorded in a cued continuous performance test (CPT). For a waiting-list group of nine children with ADHD, the same testing was applied.

Results: ADHD symptomatology was reduced by approximately 25% after SCP training. Moreover, a decrease of impulsivity errors and an increase of the contingent negative variation were observed in the CPT task.

Conclusions: This study provides first evidence for both positive behavioral and specific neurophysiological effects of SCP training in children with ADHD.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Arousal / physiology
  • Attention / physiology
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / physiopathology
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / therapy*
  • Biofeedback, Psychology / methods*
  • Biofeedback, Psychology / physiology
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiopathology*
  • Child
  • Contingent Negative Variation / physiology
  • Discrimination Learning / physiology
  • Evoked Potentials / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Impulsive Behavior / physiopathology
  • Impulsive Behavior / therapy*
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual / physiology
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology
  • Transfer, Psychology
  • Treatment Outcome