Testing formal predictions of neuroscientific theories of ADHD with a cognitive model-based approach

Alexander Weigard, Cynthia L. Huang-Pollock, Scott Brown, Andrew Heathcote

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Neuroscientific theories of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) alternately posit that cognitive aberrations in the disorder are due to acute attentional lapses, slowed neural processing, or reduced signal-to-noise ratios. However, they make similar predictions about behavioral summary statistics (response times [RTs] and accuracy), hindering the field's ability to produce strong and specific tests of these theories. The current study uses the linear ballistic accumulator (LBA; Brown & Heathcote, 2008), a mathematical model of choice RT tasks, to distinguish between competing theory predictions. Children with ADHD (n = 80) and age-matched controls (n = 32) completed a numerosity discrimination paradigm at 2 levels of difficulty, and RT data were fit to the LBA model to test theoretical predictions. Individuals with ADHD displayed slowed processing of evidence for correct responses (signal) relative to their peers but comparable processing of evidence for error responses (noise) and between-trial variability in processing (performance lapses). The findings are inconsistent with accounts that posit an increased incidence of attentional lapses in the disorder and provide partial support for those that posit slowed neural processing and lower signal-to-noise ratios. Results also highlight the utility of well-developed cognitive models for distinguishing between the predictions of etiological theories of psychopathology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)529-539
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of abnormal psychology
Volume127
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2018

Fingerprint

Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity
Reaction Time
Signal-To-Noise Ratio
Aptitude
Psychopathology
Noise
Theoretical Models
Incidence

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

Cite this

@article{de14492e0b994af0b403052485beec8b,
title = "Testing formal predictions of neuroscientific theories of ADHD with a cognitive model-based approach",
abstract = "Neuroscientific theories of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) alternately posit that cognitive aberrations in the disorder are due to acute attentional lapses, slowed neural processing, or reduced signal-to-noise ratios. However, they make similar predictions about behavioral summary statistics (response times [RTs] and accuracy), hindering the field's ability to produce strong and specific tests of these theories. The current study uses the linear ballistic accumulator (LBA; Brown & Heathcote, 2008), a mathematical model of choice RT tasks, to distinguish between competing theory predictions. Children with ADHD (n = 80) and age-matched controls (n = 32) completed a numerosity discrimination paradigm at 2 levels of difficulty, and RT data were fit to the LBA model to test theoretical predictions. Individuals with ADHD displayed slowed processing of evidence for correct responses (signal) relative to their peers but comparable processing of evidence for error responses (noise) and between-trial variability in processing (performance lapses). The findings are inconsistent with accounts that posit an increased incidence of attentional lapses in the disorder and provide partial support for those that posit slowed neural processing and lower signal-to-noise ratios. Results also highlight the utility of well-developed cognitive models for distinguishing between the predictions of etiological theories of psychopathology.",
author = "Alexander Weigard and Huang-Pollock, {Cynthia L.} and Scott Brown and Andrew Heathcote",
year = "2018",
month = "7",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1037/abn0000357",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "127",
pages = "529--539",
journal = "Journal of Abnormal Psychology",
issn = "0021-843X",
publisher = "American Psychological Association Inc.",
number = "5",

}

Testing formal predictions of neuroscientific theories of ADHD with a cognitive model-based approach. / Weigard, Alexander; Huang-Pollock, Cynthia L.; Brown, Scott; Heathcote, Andrew.

In: Journal of abnormal psychology, Vol. 127, No. 5, 01.07.2018, p. 529-539.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Testing formal predictions of neuroscientific theories of ADHD with a cognitive model-based approach

AU - Weigard, Alexander

AU - Huang-Pollock, Cynthia L.

AU - Brown, Scott

AU - Heathcote, Andrew

PY - 2018/7/1

Y1 - 2018/7/1

N2 - Neuroscientific theories of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) alternately posit that cognitive aberrations in the disorder are due to acute attentional lapses, slowed neural processing, or reduced signal-to-noise ratios. However, they make similar predictions about behavioral summary statistics (response times [RTs] and accuracy), hindering the field's ability to produce strong and specific tests of these theories. The current study uses the linear ballistic accumulator (LBA; Brown & Heathcote, 2008), a mathematical model of choice RT tasks, to distinguish between competing theory predictions. Children with ADHD (n = 80) and age-matched controls (n = 32) completed a numerosity discrimination paradigm at 2 levels of difficulty, and RT data were fit to the LBA model to test theoretical predictions. Individuals with ADHD displayed slowed processing of evidence for correct responses (signal) relative to their peers but comparable processing of evidence for error responses (noise) and between-trial variability in processing (performance lapses). The findings are inconsistent with accounts that posit an increased incidence of attentional lapses in the disorder and provide partial support for those that posit slowed neural processing and lower signal-to-noise ratios. Results also highlight the utility of well-developed cognitive models for distinguishing between the predictions of etiological theories of psychopathology.

AB - Neuroscientific theories of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) alternately posit that cognitive aberrations in the disorder are due to acute attentional lapses, slowed neural processing, or reduced signal-to-noise ratios. However, they make similar predictions about behavioral summary statistics (response times [RTs] and accuracy), hindering the field's ability to produce strong and specific tests of these theories. The current study uses the linear ballistic accumulator (LBA; Brown & Heathcote, 2008), a mathematical model of choice RT tasks, to distinguish between competing theory predictions. Children with ADHD (n = 80) and age-matched controls (n = 32) completed a numerosity discrimination paradigm at 2 levels of difficulty, and RT data were fit to the LBA model to test theoretical predictions. Individuals with ADHD displayed slowed processing of evidence for correct responses (signal) relative to their peers but comparable processing of evidence for error responses (noise) and between-trial variability in processing (performance lapses). The findings are inconsistent with accounts that posit an increased incidence of attentional lapses in the disorder and provide partial support for those that posit slowed neural processing and lower signal-to-noise ratios. Results also highlight the utility of well-developed cognitive models for distinguishing between the predictions of etiological theories of psychopathology.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85050085707&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85050085707&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1037/abn0000357

DO - 10.1037/abn0000357

M3 - Article

C2 - 30010369

AN - SCOPUS:85050085707

VL - 127

SP - 529

EP - 539

JO - Journal of Abnormal Psychology

JF - Journal of Abnormal Psychology

SN - 0021-843X

IS - 5

ER -