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Indices of Heart Rate Variability and Performance During a Response-Conflict Task Are Differently Associated With ADHD and Autism.

Authors
  • Bellato, Alessio1
  • Arora, Iti1
  • Kochhar, Puja1
  • Hollis, Chris1, 2, 3
  • Groom, Madeleine J1, 2
  • 1 Division of Psychiatry and Applied Psychology, Institute of Mental Health, University of Nottingham, Triumph Road, Nottingham NG7 2TU, UK.
  • 2 NIHR MindTech Healthcare Technology Co-operative, Institute of Mental Health, Triumph Road, Nottingham NG7 2TU, UK.
  • 3 NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre, Institute of Mental Health, Triumph Road, Nottingham NG7 2TU, UK.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Attention Disorders
Publisher
SAGE Publications
Publication Date
Feb 01, 2022
Volume
26
Issue
3
Pages
434–446
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1177/1087054720972793
PMID: 33535874
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

We investigated autonomic arousal, attention and response conflict, in ADHD and autism. Heart rate variability (HRV), and behavioral/electrophysiological indices of performance, were recorded during a task with low and high levels of response conflict in 78 children/adolescents (7-15 years old) with ADHD, autism, comorbid ADHD+autism, or neurotypical. ANOVA models were used to investigate effects of ADHD and autism, while a mediation model was tested to clarify the relationship between ADHD and slower performance. Slower and less accurate performance characterized ADHD and autism; however, atypical electrophysiological indices differently characterized these conditions. The relationship between ADHD and slower task performance was mediated by reduced HRV in response to the cue stimulus. Autonomic hypo-arousal and difficulties in mobilizing energetic resources in response to sensory information (associated with ADHD), and atypical electrophysiological indices of information processing (associated with autism), might negatively affect cognitive performance in those with ADHD+autism.

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