Developmental Coordination Disorder and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder are unique neurodevelopmental disorders with overlaps in executive functions and motor control. The conditions co-occur in up to 50% of cases, raising questions of the pathological mechanisms of DCD versus ADHD. Few studies have examined these overlaps in adults with DCD and/or ADHD. Therefore, to provide insights about executive functions and motor control between adults with DCD, ADHD, both conditions (DCD+ADHD), or typically developed controls, this study used a stop-signal task and parallel EEG measurement. We assessed executive performance via go accuracy and go reaction time, as well as motor response inhibition via stop signal reaction time. This was complemented with analysis of event-related potentials (ERPs). Based on existing investigations of adults with DCD or ADHD, we expected groups would (1) not differ in behavioral performance on stop and go trials, but (2) differences in ERPs, particularly in components N200 (index of cognitive control) and P300 (index of attention and inhibition) would be evident. The sample included N=50 adults with DCD (n=12), ADHD (n=9), DCD+ADHD (n=7), and control participants (n=22). We replicated that there were no between-group differences for behavioral-level executive performance and motor response inhibition. However, on a physiological level, ERP components N200 and P300 differed between groups, particularly during successful response inhibition. These ERPs reflect potential endophenotypic differences not evident in overt behavior of participants with ADHD and/or DCD. This suggests a disorder specific employment of inhibition or general executive functions in groups of adults with DCD, DCD+ADHD, ADHD, or control participants.
Meachon, Emily J.Meyer, MarcelWilmut, KateZemp, MartinaAlpers, Georg W.
Department of Psychology, Health and Professional Development
Year of publication: 2021Date of RADAR deposit: 2021-02-16