Interval timing deficits assessed by time reproduction dual tasks as cognitive endophenotypes for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

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Abstract

© 2015 Hwang-Gu, Gau.The literature has suggested timing processing as a potential endophenotype for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); however, whether the subjective internal clock speed presented by verbal estimation and limited attention capacity presented by time reproduction could be endophenotypes for ADHD is still unknown. We assessed 223 youths with DSM-IV ADHD (age range: 10-17 years), 105 unaffected siblings, and 84 typically developing (TD) youths using psychiatric interviews, intelligence tests, verbal estimation and time reproduction tasks (single task and simple and difficult dual tasks) at 5-second, 12-second, and 17-second intervals. We found that youths with ADHD tended to overestimate time in verbal estimation more than their unaffected siblings and TD youths, implying that fast subjective internal clock speed might be a characteristic of ADHD, rather than an endophenotype for ADHD. Youths with ADHD and their unaffected siblings were less precise in time reproduction dual tasks than TD youths. The magnitude of estimated errors in time reproduction was greater in youths with ADHD and their unaffected siblings than in TD youths, with an increased time interval at the 17-second interval and with increased task demands on both simple and difficult dual tasks versus the single task. Increased impaired time reproduction in dual tasks with increased intervals and task demands were shown in youths with ADHD and their unaffected siblings, suggesting that time reproduction deficits explained by limited attention capacity might be a useful endophenotype of ADHD.

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Hwang-Gu, S. L., & Gau, S. S. F. (2015). Interval timing deficits assessed by time reproduction dual tasks as cognitive endophenotypes for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. PLoS ONE, 10(5). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0127157

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