The Role of Medication on Inhibitory Control in Children with ADHD as Observed in Lab and in Context
Event: Undergraduate Research Symposium
Date: May 18, 2019
Location: UCI Student Center
Presenter: Shireen Khan, Bryce Carson, Francesca E. Trane
Mentor: Susanne Jaeggi, Masha R. Jones
Title: The Role of Medication on Inhibitory Control in Children with ADHD as Observed in Lab and in Context
Inhibitory control has been implicated as one of the key cognitive deficits of ADHD. Furthermore, researchers have discovered that among individuals with ADHD, there are differences in dopamine signaling in the prefrontal cortex and medication serves to increase the amount of dopamine in the prefrontal cortex to normal levels. While medication use has been documented to reduce behavioral symptoms of ADHD, little is known about its effects specifically on inhibitory control. This study will examine the following questions: (1) How does medication relate to performance on inhibitory control as observed in lab and in context? (2) Is the relation between medication use and inhibitory control consistent across lab-based and contextual measures? In the present study, children diagnosed with ADHD, ages 7–14, (current n = 35) completed tasks designed to measure inhibitory control (D2, CPT) and information regarding their medication status was collected from parent interviews. The qualitative data on inhibitory control was collected through mock lessons which measures participant’s inhibitory control as it relates to on-versus-off-task behavior. We have collected CPT data on 19 participants (n = 11 without medication, n = 8 with medication) and the results suggest there is no significant difference between the two groups on errors of commission (p = 0.985). Currently, a limitation is the small sample size, however we expect to have data closer to 35 participants by May. As we continue to collect and analyze data, we hypothesize that children who take medication will show a greater capacity for inhibitory control both in lab-based measures and as observed in context than children who do not take medication. Moreover, we expect this relation to be consistent across both types of measures.
Shireen Khan at 2019 UROP Symposium
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