Behavioral and Brain Sciences

open peer commentary

frontal and executive dysfunction is a central aspect of adhd

ximena carrasco a1, vladimir lópez a2 and francisco aboitiz a2
a1 programa de morfología, instituto de ciencias biomédicas, facultad de medicina, universidad de chile, santiago, chile
a2 departmento psiquiatría y centro de investigaciones médicas, facultad de medicina, pontificia universidad católica de chile, santiago, chile


in the target article, sagvolden and collaborators propose that attentional-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (adhd) is the result of a general behavioral deficit which is mainly caused by a hypofunctioning mesolimbic dopaminergic system. although we partly agree with this view, we think that it tends to overlook the dysfunction of prefrontal and frontostriatal executive functions by considering them to be a consequence of alterations in reward and extinction mechanisms. rather, we believe that adhd is the result of an overall cognitive and behavioral condition, associated to a generalized dopaminergic network dysfunction, and may not be easily attributable to a single basic behavioral function.