The brain regulation mechanism of error monitoring in impulsive children with ADHD--an analysis of error related potentials

Neurosci Lett. 2009 Aug 21;460(1):11-5. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2009.05.027. Epub 2009 May 18.


The objective of this study was to investigate the brain mechanism involved in the regulation of impulsivity in children with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) through error detection as well as error monitoring. The subjects in this study included 7-11-year-old impulsive ADHD children as well as normal children and adult controls. Error related negativity (ERN) and error positivity (Pe) were measured. ERN peak latency from the children groups was delayed significantly when compared with the adult group; however, no significant difference in ERN amplitude was found among the three groups. Impulsive ADHD children had the earliest peak latency of Pe. In addition, the average Pe amplitude in impulsive children was significantly smaller than in adults (Cz and Pz), and smaller than in normal children (Pz). Late conscious cognitive processing of error is significantly weaker in impulsive ADHD children, suggesting a serious deficit of late error monitoring, rather than error detection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / complications*
  • Brain / physiopathology*
  • Brain Mapping / methods
  • Child
  • Decision Making / physiology*
  • Electroencephalography / methods
  • Evoked Potentials / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Impulsive Behavior / etiology*
  • Impulsive Behavior / pathology*
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Photic Stimulation / methods
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Social Control, Informal
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult