+ Site Statistics
+ Search Articles
+ PDF Full Text Service
How our service works
Request PDF Full Text
+ Follow Us
Follow on Facebook
Follow on Twitter
Follow on LinkedIn
+ Subscribe to Site Feeds
Most Shared
PDF Full Text
+ Translate
+ Recently Requested

Reaction time variability in ADHD: a review



Reaction time variability in ADHD: a review



Neurotherapeutics 9(3): 500-508



For the past decade, intra-individual variability in reaction times on computerized tasks has become a central focus of cognitive research on Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Numerous studies document increased reaction time variability among children and adults with ADHD, relative to typically developing controls. However, direct comparisons with other disorders with heightened reaction time variability are virtually nonexistent, despite their potential to inform our understanding of the phenomenon. A growing literature examines the sensitivity of reaction time variability to theoretically and clinically relevant manipulations. There is strong evidence that stimulus treatment reduces reaction time variability during a range of cognitive tasks, but the literature is mixed regarding the impact of motivational incentives and variation in stimulus event rate. Most studies of reaction time variability implicitly assume that heightened reaction time variability reflects occasional lapses in attention, and the dominant neurophysiological interpretation suggests this variability is linked to intrusions of task-negative brain network activity during task performance. Work examining the behavioral and neurophysiological correlates of reaction time variability provides some support for these hypotheses, but considerably more work is needed in this area. Finally, because conclusions from each of domains reviewed are limited by the wide range of measures used to measure reaction time variability, this review highlights the need for increased attention to the cognitive and motivational context in which variability is assessed and recommends that future work always supplement macro-level variability indices with metrics that isolate particular components of reaction time variability.

Please choose payment method:






(PDF emailed within 0-6 h: $19.90)

Accession: 036568671

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 22930417

DOI: 10.1007/s13311-012-0138-5


Related references

Reaction time variability in ADHD: a meta-analytic review of 319 studies. Clinical Psychology Review 33(6): 795-811, 2013

Annual research review: Reaction time variability in ADHD and autism spectrum disorders: measurement and mechanisms of a proposed trans-diagnostic phenotype. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, and Allied Disciplines 55(6): 685-710, 2015

Is reaction time variability in ADHD mainly at low frequencies?. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines 54(5): 536-544, 2013

Reaction time variability in children with ADHD symptoms and/or dyslexia. Developmental Neuropsychology 37(5): 453-472, 2012

Behavioral correlates of reaction time variability in children with and without ADHD. Neuropsychology 27(2): 201-209, 2013

Continuous performance task in ADHD: Is reaction time variability a key measure?. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment 14: 781-786, 2018

Relationship between reaction time variability and motor skill development in ADHD. Child Neuropsychology 18(6): 576-585, 2012

Reaction time variability associated with reading skills in poor readers with ADHD. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society 20(3): 292-301, 2014

Effects of smoking abstinence on reaction time variability in smokers with and without ADHD: an ex-Gaussian analysis. Drug and Alcohol Dependence 100(1-2): 169-172, 2009

A preliminary investigation of reaction time variability in relation to social functioning in children evaluated for ADHD. Child Neuropsychology 25(7): 885-898, 2019

The Specificity and Independent Contribution of Inhibition, Working Memory, and Reaction Time Variability in Relation to Symptoms of ADHD and ASD. Journal of Attention Disorders 2015:, 2015

Response time variability under slow and fast-incentive conditions in children with ASD, ADHD and ASD+ADHD. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines 57(12): 1414-1423, 2016

Evidence for higher reaction time variability for children with ADHD on a range of cognitive tasks including reward and event rate manipulations. Neuropsychology 25(4): 427-441, 2011

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and motor timing in adolescents and their parents: familial characteristics of reaction time variability vary with age. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 53(9): 1010-1019.E4, 2014

Multiple deficits in ADHD: executive dysfunction, delay aversion, reaction time variability, and emotional deficits. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines 54(6): 619-627, 2013