5 years ago

Neural Correlates of Emotion Reactivity and Regulation in Young Children with ADHD Symptoms

Jennifer M. McDermott, Chaia Flegenheimer, Claudia Lugo-Candelas, Elizabeth Harvey


Emotion reactivity and regulation are frequently impaired in individuals with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), yet few studies have examined these factors in young children with ADHD, and none have explored the neural correlates of emotion reactivity and regulation in this group through event-related potentials (ERPs). Children aged 4 to 7 with (n = 25; 18 boys) and without (n = 29; 20 boys) ADHD symptoms completed an attention task composed of four blocks: baseline, frustration, suppression, and recovery. In the frustration and suppression blocks, negative affect was induced by false negative feedback. During the suppression block, children were asked to suppress emotional expressions. Neural reactivity, assessed via the N2 and P3 components, suggests that children with ADHD symptoms processed the emotional induction differently than typically developing (TD) children. TD children demonstrated decreased N2 and increased P3 amplitudes at frontal and frontocentral regions across task conditions whereas children with ADHD symptoms showed relatively stable N2 and P3 amplitudes. This pattern suggests that young children with ADHD symptoms are not as effective as their TD peers in modulating attention allocation and cognitive control in emotionally laden situations. The present study underscores that emotional contexts may exacerbate attentional control deficits in young children with ADHD symptoms.

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10802-017-0297-2

DOI: 10.1007/s10802-017-0297-2

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