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Temporal lobe dysfunction in children with ADHD may explain attention problems

JULY 16, 2007

A study using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) by Dr Rubia and colleagues at the Institute of Psychiatry has been published online in the journal Biological Psychiatry  and shows that children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), who previously have been proven to have biological abnormalities in the brain's frontal lobe, which controls inhibition, also show brain dysfunctions in the temporal lobes during a very simple perceptual attention task, during which these children were asked to allocate attention to rare, unfrequent stimuli.

Furthermore, the temporal lobe abnormalities during perceptual attention were related to the most typical and consistent performance deficit these children have with their inconsistent response pattern (e.g. sometimes fast, sometimes slow). The findings show that brain dysfunction in ADHD is not confined to the frontal lobes and their networks but are also observed in other parts of the brain which mediate perceptual attention and furthermore suggests that these attention-related neurobiological abnormalities may trigger their behavioural inconsistency.
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