Dysfunctional temporal stages of eye-gaze perception in adults with ADHD: A high-density EEG study

Biol Psychol. 2022 May;171:108351. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2022.108351. Epub 2022 May 12.


ADHD has been associated with social cognitive impairments across the lifespan, but no studies have specifically addressed the presence of abnormalities in eye-gaze processing in the adult brain. This study investigated the neural basis of eye-gaze perception in adults with ADHD using event-related potentials (ERP). Twenty-three ADHD and 23 controls performed a delayed face-matching task with neutral faces that had either direct or averted gaze. ERPs were classified using microstate analyses. ADHD and controls displayed similar P100 and N170 microstates. ADHD was associated with cluster abnormalities in the attention-sensitive P200 to direct gaze, and in the N250 related to facial recognition. For direct gaze, source localization revealed reduced activity in ADHD for the P200 in the left/midline cerebellum, as well as in a cingulate-occipital network at the N250. These results suggest brain impairments involving eye-gaze decoding in adults with ADHD, suggestive of neural signatures associated with this disorder in adulthood.

Keywords: ADHD; ERP; Eye-gaze; Face perception.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity*
  • Electroencephalography / methods
  • Evoked Potentials
  • Facial Expression
  • Facial Recognition*
  • Fixation, Ocular
  • Humans
  • Visual Perception