Attenuated baseline arousal has been hypothesized to underlie symptoms of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). A behavioral signature of reduced baseline arousal is an increased beneficiary effect of warning signals in reaction tasks. This paradoxical effect is believed to be caused by a temporary increase in arousal induced by warning signals. In a preregistered study, we tested the hypothesis that children with high levels of ADHD symptoms would be hyperresponsive to warning signals in a well-established visual attention task (the gap/overlap paradigm). Previous studies using this task have found slower and more variable saccadic reaction times in children with ADHD compared to typically developing children, suggesting that these eye movement metrics are candidate biomarkers. We examined 71 children, of which 1/3 had a diagnosis of ADHD, using both dimensional analyses and group comparisons. Previously reported findings of reduced saccadic latency and increased latency variability were replicated. Importantly, saccadic latency was normalized by auditory warning signals. Analyses of pupil dilation, a physiological index of arousal and locus coeruleus-noradrenergic activity, confirmed that warning signals led to enhanced arousal. Our findings are novel and contribute to our understanding of arousal and attention in ADHD and have implications for treatment and interventions.
May 21, 2013
Factors Associated with Sleep Quality in Patients with Chronic Widespread Pain Attending Multidisciplinary Treatment.
January 31, 2020
A Comparison of Existing Questionnaires for Identifying the Causes of Interstitial and Rare Lung Diseases.
January 31, 2020