The degree of association between performance on a sustained attention task requiring visual discrimination and urinary excretion of catecholamine metabolites was examined in a cohort of 6- to 12-year-old children (n = 31) strictly selected and diagnosed with attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) according to DSM-IV and other strict criteria. Sustained visual attention and discrimination were measured using the Test of Variables of Attention (T.O.V.A.). Urinary excretion of dopamine (DA) and norepinephrine (NE) metabolites was measured by reversed high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC). Pearson product-moment correlations were used to investigate the relationship between T.O.V.A. errors oj omission (OMM), errors of commission (COM), response time (RT), and response time variability (RTV) and catecholamine metabolites of DA and NE. All T.O.V.A. indexes under investigation were significantly correlated with urinary excretion of NE metabolites, hut correlations were low-to-moderate in magnitude (.37-.50). In contrast, there were no statistically significant correlations between T.O.V.A. indices and DA metabolites. These findings and their concordance with past research in human adults and animals, as well as theoretical issues associated with the present results, are discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Clinical Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Psychiatry and Mental health