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Paper in Pediatric Neurology
  • Hermens, DF, Soei, EXC, Clarke, SD, Kohn, MR, Gordon, E, and Williams, LM (2005c). Resting EEG theta activity predicts cognitive performance in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Pediatric Neurology, 32, 248-256.

    Quantitative electroencephalography has contributed significantly to elucidating the neurobiological mechanisms of Attention-Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder. The most consistent and robust electroencephalographic disturbance in Attention-Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder has been abnormally increased theta band during resting conditions. Separate research using attention-demanding tests has elucidated cognitive disturbances that differentiate Attention-Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder. This study attempts to integrate electroencephalographic and neuropsychological indices to determine whether cognitive performance is specifically related to increased theta. Theta activity was recorded during a resting condition for forty-six children/adolescents with Attention-Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder and their sex- and age-matched controls. We then recorded accuracy and reaction time during an auditory oddball and a visual continuous performance test. Compared to controls, the Attention-Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder group showed significantly increased (primarily left) frontal theta. Furthermore, the Attention-Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder group showed significantly delayed reaction time and decreased accuracy in both tasks. Correlation analysis revealed a significant relationship between frontal (primarily left) theta and oddball accuracy for the Attention-Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder group compared to a significant relationship between posterior (primarily right) theta and reaction time in the continuous performance test for the control group. These results indicate that spatial neurophysiological deficits in Attention-Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder may be related to disturbances in signal detection. This observation has important implications for the role of trait-like biological deficits in Attention-Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder predicting performance in information processing.