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Faulty 'off-switch' stops children with ADHD from concentrating
Date:1/6/2011

ff the DMN and would perform poorly. This effect of incentives was not seen in children without ADHD activity in their DMN was switched off by items requiring their attention regardless of the incentive on offer.

Dr Batty said: "Using brain imaging we have been able to see inside the children's heads and observe what it is about ADHD that is stopping them concentrating. Most people are able to control their 'daydreaming' state and focus on the task at hand. This is not the case with children with ADHD. If a task is not sufficiently interesting, they cannot switch off their background brain activity and they are easily distracted. Making a task more interesting or providing methylphenidate turns down the volume and allows them to concentrate."

Dr Liddle said: "These findings help explain one of the interesting characteristics of ADHD that children with the condition appear able to control themselves much better when motivated to do so.

"The common complaint about children with ADHD is that 'he can concentrate and control himself fine when he wants to', so some people just think the child is being naughty when he misbehaves. We have shown that this may be a very real difficulty for them. The off-switch for their 'internal world' seems to need a greater incentive to function properly and allow them to attend to their task."


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Contact: Lindsay Brooke
lindsay.brooke@nottingham.ac.uk
44-115-951-5751
University of Nottingham
Source:Eurekalert  

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