Midwest Social Sciences Journal


The current study sought to investigate the neural basis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) by examining the performance of individuals with ADHD on the Attentional Networks Test (ANT) by Fan, McCandliss, Sommer, Raz, and Posner (2002), while recording electroencephalography (EEG) utilizing event-related potentials (ERP) methodology. Fifty-seven university students were divided into three groups: control, ADHD-inattentive subtype (ADHD-IA), and ADHD-combined/hyperactive impulsive subtype (ADHD-C/HI). The average peak amplitudes of the P300 waveform for each group were compared and analyzed for performance on each attention network measured by the ANT: the alerting network, the orienting network, and the executive control network. The average P3 peaks were significantly different for controls in comparison to the ADHD-IA group for the alerting and executive networks, and for controls in comparison to ADHD-C/HI for the orienting network. Controls and ADHD-IA had faster behavioral reaction times (RTs) than ADHD-C/HI, but all groups performed at a high level of accuracy. Results suggest that ADHD-IA and ADHD-C/HI comprise heterogeneous disorders. Not only do their symptoms differ but also their electrical potentials compared to controls.