The effect of methylphenidate on three forms of response inhibition in boys with AD/HD.


The current study was aimed at (a) investigating the effect of three doses methylphenidate (MPH) and placebo on inhibition of a prepotent response, inhibition of an ongoing response, and interference control in Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD), and (b) studying dose-response relations for the three forms of response inhibition. To meet these aims, the following tasks were selected: two versions of the Stop Paradigm for inhibition of a prepotent response, a Circle Tracing Task and a recently developed Follow Task for inhibition of an ongoing response, and the Stroop Color-Word Test and an Eriksen Flanker Task for interference control. These tasks were administered to 23 boys with AD/HD during four treatment conditions: 5 mg MPH, 10 mg MPH, 20 mg MPH, and placebo. A pseudorandomized, multiple-blind, placebo-controlled, within-subject design was used. As hypothesized, inhibitory control in children with AD/HD improved under MPH compared to placebo. However, this effect was only significant for inhibition of a prepotent response and inhibition of an ongoing response (as measured by the Follow Task), but not for interference control. The relation between treatment condition and response was linear. However, this linear relation was due to improved inhibitory control under MPH compared to placebo, because no effects of MPH dose were observed for any of the response inhibition measures.