Perceptual abnormalities related to sensory gating deficit are core symptoms in adults with ADHD

Psychiatry Res. 2015 Dec 15;230(2):357-63. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2015.09.016. Epub 2015 Sep 13.


This study investigated and compared perceptual abnormalities related to sensory gating deficit in adult patients with Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity (A-ADHD) and adult patients with schizophrenia. Subjects were evaluated with the Sensory Gating Inventory (SGI). We compared SGI scores between patients with A-ADHD, patients with schizophrenia and healthy subjects. We also assessed the relationship between SGI scores and clinical symptoms, and evaluated the ability of the SGI to detect perceptual abnormalities in A-ADHD. Seventy adult patients with ADHD reported higher SGI scores than the 70 healthy subjects and the 70 patients with schizophrenia. The inattention factor of the ASRS correlated significantly with the overall SGI score. The ROC AUC for the overall SGI score in the A-ADHD group (versus the healthy group) illustrated good performance. The findings suggest that i) perceptual abnormalities are core symptoms of adult patients with ADHD and ii) the attention of patients with A-ADHD may be involuntarily drowned by many irrelevant environmental stimuli leading to their impaired attention on relevant stimuli. They also confirm that the SGI could be a useful self-report instrument to diagnose the clinical features of A-ADHD.

Keywords: Adult; Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity; Perceptual distortion; Questionnaires; Sensory gating.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attention / physiology
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / diagnosis*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / psychology
  • Female
  • Healthy Volunteers
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Personality Inventory
  • ROC Curve
  • Schizophrenic Psychology*
  • Sensory Gating*
  • Symptom Assessment / methods
  • Young Adult