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Jitter Reduces Response-Time Variability in ADHD: An Ex-Gaussian Analysis.

Authors
  • Lee, Ryan W Y1
  • Jacobson, Lisa A2
  • Pritchard, Alison E2
  • Ryan, Matthew S1
  • Yu, Qilu3
  • Denckla, Martha B2
  • Mostofsky, Stewart2
  • Mahone, E Mark4
  • 1 Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore, MD, USA.
  • 2 Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore, MD, USA Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA.
  • 3 Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA.
  • 4 Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore, MD, USA Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA [email protected]
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Attention Disorders
Publisher
SAGE Publications
Publication Date
Sep 01, 2015
Volume
19
Issue
9
Pages
794–804
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1177/1087054712464269
PMID: 23190614
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

"Jitter" involves randomization of intervals between stimulus events. Compared with controls, individuals with ADHD demonstrate greater intrasubject variability (ISV) performing tasks with fixed interstimulus intervals (ISIs). Because Gaussian curves mask the effect of extremely slow or fast response times (RTs), ex-Gaussian approaches have been applied to study ISV. This study applied ex-Gaussian analysis to examine the effects of jitter on RT variability in children with and without ADHD. A total of 75 children, aged 9 to 14 years (44 ADHD, 31 controls), completed a go/no-go test with two conditions: fixed ISI and jittered ISI. ADHD children showed greater variability, driven by elevations in exponential (tau), but not normal (sigma) components of the RT distribution. Jitter decreased tau in ADHD to levels not statistically different than controls, reducing lapses in performance characteristic of impaired response control. Jitter may provide a nonpharmacologic mechanism to facilitate readiness to respond and reduce lapses from sustained (controlled) performance. © 2012 SAGE Publications.

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