Catherine Fassbender, Ph.D.

Fellow in Child & Adolescent ADHD

Project Details

Mentors

Julie B. Schweitzer
Cameron Carter, M.D.


Institution

University of California Davis Medical School


Project

Response Preparation, Alerting and Performance Monitoring Processes in ADHD Combined with Primarily Inattentive Subtypes


PROJECT tITLE

Response Preparation, Alerting and Performance Monitoring Processes in ADHD Combined with Primarily Inattentive Subtypes

PROJECT SUMMARY

Many of the impairments associated with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are thought to be related to a poor response to environmental cues and an inability to adapt behavior in response to evaluation of on-going performance. To perform a task successfully and exercise control over behavior requires insight into not only the effectiveness of current responding, but also modifying one’s behavior in response to that evaluation, internal goals and environmental cues. Evidence suggests that the necessary flexible interaction between environmental cues and internally-driven processes is impaired in ADHD. Studies suggest that children with ADHD display deficits not only in monitoring their own performance, but also in evaluating their behavior to plan future actions Dysfunction in both medial frontal cortex, thought to be involved in performance monitoring, and lateral frontal cortex, thought to exercise cognitive control, have been found in ADHD. Currently, it is unclear how this may vary according to ADHD subtypes, particularly the Combined versus primarily Inattentive subtypes.

Previous research and our preliminary data suggest that it may be possible to characterize ADHD subtypes according to different response patterns to environmental cues. Goals of this project are to apply functional magnetic resonance imaging to examine brain regions involved in 1) the dynamics of behavior control and the ability to monitor performance among ADHD participants compared to healthy peers; 2) the interaction between internally and externally-driven processes in each subtype. Findings from this project have the potential to improve the design of diagnostic and intervention techniques to address subtype-specific deficits.

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