Behavioral and Brain Sciences

open peer commentary

a common core dysfunction in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: a scientific red herring?

edmund j. s. sonuga-barke a1a2 and f. x. castellanos a2
a1 developmental brain-behaviour unit, university of southampton, southampton, s017 1bj, united kingdom
a2 child study center, new york university school of medicine, new york, ny 10016


the reinforcement/extinction disorder hypothesis (sagvolden et al.) is an important counterweight to the executive dysfunction model of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (adhd). however, like that model, it conceptualises adhd as pathophysiologically homogeneous, resulting from a common core dysfunction. recent studies reporting neuropsychological heterogeneity suggest that this common core dysfunction may be the scientific equivalent of a red herring.