The Impact of Financial Reward Contingencies on Cognitive Function Profiles in Adult ADHDReportar como inadecuado

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Although it is well established that cognitive performance in children with attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder ADHD is affected by reward and that key deficits associated with the disorder may thereby be attenuated or even compensated, this phenomenon in adults with ADHD has thus far not been addressed. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to examine the motivating effect of financial reward on task performance in adults with ADHD by focusing on the domains of executive functioning, attention, time perception, and delay aversion.


We examined male and female adults aged 18–40 years with ADHD n = 38 along with a matched control group n = 40 using six well-established experimental paradigms.


Impaired performance in the ADHD group was observed for stop-signal omission errors, n-back accuracy, reaction time variability in the continuous performance task, and time reproduction accuracy, and reward normalized time reproduction accuracy. Furthermore, when rewarded, subjects with ADHD exhibited longer reaction times and fewer false positives in the continuous performance task, which suggests the use of strategies to prevent impulsivity errors.


Taken together, our results support the existence of both cognitive and motivational mechanisms for the disorder, which is in line with current models of ADHD. Furthermore, our data suggest cognitive strategies of -stopping and thinking- as a possible underlying mechanism for task improvement that seems to be mediated by reward, which highlights the importance of the interaction between motivation and cognition in adult ADHD.

Autor: Ivo Marx , Cornelia Höpcke, Christoph Berger, Roland Wandschneider, Sabine C. Herpertz



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