Brain Scans Show Children with ADHD Have Faulty On-Off Switch for Mind-Wandering
[Source: Science Daily.com]
Brain scans of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have shown for the first time why people affected by the condition sometimes have such difficulty in concentrating. The study, funded by the Wellcome Trust, may explain why parents often say that their child can maintain concentration when they are doing something that interests them, but struggles with boring tasks.
Using a ‘Whac-a-Mole’ style game, researchers from the Motivation, Inhibition and Development in ADHD Study (MIDAS) group at the University of Nottingham found evidence that children with ADHD require either much greater incentives — or their usual stimulant medication — to focus on a task. When the incentive was low, the children with ADHD failed to “switch off” brain regions involved in mind-wandering. When the incentive was high, however, or they were taking their medication, their brain activity was indistinguishable from a typically-developing non-ADHD child.
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