Behavioral and Brain Sciences

open peer commentary

adhd theories still need to take more on board: serotonin and pre-executive variability

robert d. oades a1 and hanna christiansen a1
a1 university clinic for child and adolescent psychiatry, 45147 essen, germany


correcting the relationship between tonic and burst firing modes in dopamine neurons may help normalise stimulus-reinforcement gradients and contingent behaviour in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (adhd) children. but appropriate evaluations of stimuli for developing adaptive plans and controlling impulsivity will not occur without moderating the gain-like functions of serotonin. the “dynamic theory” correctly highlights the need to account for variability in adhd. the dysmaturation of pre-executive information processing is proposed as an explanation.

at the core of the article by sagvolden and colleagues there is a set of data that throws light on an aspect of the adhd phenomenon. but one asks if the authors are a measure too brave to generalise so broadly from the unusually steep reinforcement gradients reported for the human condition and an animal model to the syndrome as a whole.