Background: Brain activation differences between 12 control and 12 attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) children (9- to 12-year-olds) were examined on two cognitive tasks during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).
Method: Visual selective attention was measured with the visual search of a conjunction target (red triangle) in a field of distracters and response inhibition was measured with a go/no-go task.
Results: There were limited group differences in the selective attention task, with control children showing significantly greater intensity of activation in a small area of the superior parietal lobule region of interest. There were large group differences in the response inhibition task, with control children showing significantly greater intensity of activation in fronto-striatal regions of interest including the inferior, middle, superior and medial frontal gyri as well as the caudate nucleus and globus pallidus.
Conclusion: The widespread hypoactivity for the ADHD children on the go/no-go task is consistent with the hypothesis that response inhibition is a specific deficit in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.