Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society

Brief Communication

Deficient Post-error Slowing in Children with ADHD Is Limited to the Inattentive Subtype

Keri Shielsa1, Leanne Tamma1 and Jeffery N. Epsteina1 c1

a1 Center for ADHD, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio


Post-error slowing (i.e., slowing of a response on correct trials following an error) is thought to reflect adaptive behavior that may be impaired in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The current study examined post-error slowing in children with ADHD and typically developing controls on two cognitive tasks. Fifty-one ADHD-Combined type, 53 ADHD-Inattentive type, and 47 controls completed a Choice Discrimination and Stop Signal Task with incentive and event rate manipulations. Linear mixed models were used to examine reaction times surrounding errors (trial-by-trial). Pre-error speeding and pre- to post-error slowing occurred on both tasks. Impaired post-error slowing was only present on the Choice Discrimination Task for the ADHD-Inattentive type. Post-error slowing is impaired in children with ADHD-Inattentive type, but not ADHD-Combined type, on a simple attention task. These findings highlight the importance of considering task demands and ADHD subtype when examining post-error slowing and also provide a novel approach to quantifying post-error slowing. (JINS, 2012, 18, 612–617)

(Received September 01 2011)

(Revised January 17 2012)

(Accepted January 18 2012)