Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
Review
, 92, 464-476

Mind Wandering Perspective on Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Affiliations
Review

Mind Wandering Perspective on Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Natali S Bozhilova et al. Neurosci Biobehav Rev.

Abstract

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a common neurodevelopmental disorder associated with a range of mental health, neurocognitive and functional problems. Although the diagnosis is based on descriptions of behaviour, individuals with ADHD characteristically describe excessive spontaneous mind wandering (MW). MW in individuals with ADHD reflects constant mental activity which lacks topic stability and content consistency. Based on this review of the neural correlates of ADHD and MW, we outline a new perspective on ADHD: the MW hypothesis. We propose that altered deactivation of the default mode network, and dysfunctional interaction with the executive control network, leads to excessive and spontaneous MW, which underpins symptoms and impairments of ADHD. We highlight that processes linked to the normal neural regulation of MW (context regulation, sensory decoupling, salience thresholds) are deficient in ADHD. MW-related measures could serve as markers of the disease process, as MW can be experimentally manipulated, as well as measured using rating scales, and experience sampling during both cognitive tasks and daily life. MW may therefore be a potential endophenotype.

Keywords: ADHD; Default mode network; Executive control network; Mind wandering; Theory.

Figures

Fig. 1
Fig. 1
Visualisation of the linear relationship between neural activity, mind wandering (MW), inattentive symptoms and attentional lapses in the MW hypothesis. The top, central image represents the three neural networks underlying excessive and spontaneous mind wandering in ADHD. The key hubs of the default mode network are the posterior cingulate cortex, and ventromedial prefrontal cortex, associated with active mind wandering. The central executive network includes dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and posterior parietal cortex, which are active during cognitively demanding tasks and serve as a marker of task focus. The salience network involves the anterior cingulate cortex, and anterior insula, linked to the regulation of the interaction between the default mode and central executive network. The bottom, left image represents inattentive symptoms in ADHD. The bottom, right image represents the greater variability in the distribution of reaction time scores in ADHD.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 4 articles

References

    1. Achard S., Salvador R., Whitcher B., Suckling J., Bullmore E. A resilient, Low-frequency, small-world human brain functional network with highly connected association cortical hubs. J. Neurosci. 2006;26(1):63–72. - PMC - PubMed
    1. Albrecht B., Brandeis D., Sandersleben H.U., Valko L., Heinrich H., Xu X., …Müller U.C. Genetics of preparation and response control in ADHD: the role of DRD4 and DAT1. J. Child Psychol. Psychiatry. 2014;55(8):914–923. - PubMed
    1. Andreou P., Neale B.M., Chen W., Christiansen H., Gabriels I., Heise A., …Banaschewski T. Reaction time performance in ADHD: improvement under fast-incentive condition and familial effects. Psycholol. Med. 2007;37(12):1703–1715. - PMC - PubMed
    1. Andrews-Hanna J.R., Reidler J.S., Huang C., Buckner R.L. Evidence for the default Network9s role in spontaneous cognition. J. Neurophysiol. 2010;104(1):322–335. - PMC - PubMed
    1. Antrobus J.S., Singer J.L., Greenberg S. Studies in the stream of consciousness: experimental enhancement and suppression of spontaneous cognitive processes. Percept. Motor Skills. 1966;23(2):399–417.

Publication types

MeSH terms

Feedback