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Intact Stimulus–Response Conflict Processing in ADHD—Multilevel Evidence and Theoretical Implications

Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Cognitive Neurophysiology, Faculty of Medicine of the TU Dresden, 01309 Dresden, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(1), 234;
Received: 18 December 2019 / Revised: 3 January 2020 / Accepted: 11 January 2020 / Published: 15 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Clinical Psychology)
Attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is closely associated with deficits in cognitive control. It seems, however, that the degree of deficits strongly depends on the examined subprocess, with the resolution of stimulus–stimulus conflicts being particularly difficult for patients with ADHD. The picture is far less clear regarding stimulus–response conflicts. The current study provides multi-level behavioural and neurophysiological data on this type of conflict monitoring in children with ADHD compared to healthy controls. To account for the potentially strong effects of intra-individual variability, electroencephalogram (EEG) signal decomposition methods were used to analyze the data. Crucially, none of the analyses (behavioural, event-related potentials, or decomposed EEG data) show any differences between the ADHD group and the control group. Bayes statistical analysis confirmed the high likelihood of the null hypothesis being true in all cases. Thus, the data provide multi-level evidence showing that conflict monitoring processes are indeed partly intact in ADHD, even when eliminating possible biasing factors such as intra-individual variability. While stimulus–stimulus conflict processing has been shown to be consistently dysfunctional in ADHD, the resolution of stimulus–response conflicts is not deficient in this patient group. In comparison to other studies, the results provide novel theoretical insights into the nature of conflict control deficits in childhood ADHD.
Keywords: attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); conflict monitoring; EEG; signal decomposition attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); conflict monitoring; EEG; signal decomposition
MDPI and ACS Style

Bluschke, A.; Mückschel, M.; Roessner, V.; Beste, C. Intact Stimulus–Response Conflict Processing in ADHD—Multilevel Evidence and Theoretical Implications. J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9, 234.

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