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1.  Neuropsychological Profile of Executive Function in Girls with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder 
The majority of research on neurobehavioral functioning among children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is based on samples comprised primarily (or exclusively) of boys. Although functional impairment is well established, available research has yet to specify a neuropsychological profile distinct to girls with ADHD. The purpose of this study was to examine performance within four components of executive function (EF) in contemporaneously recruited samples of girls and boys with ADHD. Fifty-six children with ADHD (26 girls) and 90 controls (42 girls), ages 8–13, were administered neuropsychological tests emphasizing response inhibition, response preparation, working memory, and planning/shifting. There were no significant differences in age or SES between boys or girls with ADHD or their sex-matched controls; ADHD subtype distribution did not differ by sex. Compared with controls, children with ADHD showed significant deficits on all four EF components. Girls and boys with ADHD showed similar patterns of deficit on tasks involving response preparation and working memory; however, they manifested different patterns of executive dysfunction on tasks related to response inhibition and planning. Girls with ADHD showed elevated motor overflow, while boys with ADHD showed greater impairment during conscious, effortful response inhibition. Girls, but not boys with ADHD, showed impairment in planning. There were no differences between ADHD subtypes on any EF component. These findings highlight the importance of studying boys and girls separately (as well as together) when considering manifestations of executive dysfunction in ADHD.
doi:10.1093/arclin/acq050
PMCID: PMC2957961  PMID: 20639299
Attention; Response control; Working memory; Inhibition; Planning; Childhood; Development
2.  Associations of Postural Knowledge and Basic Motor Skill with Dyspraxia in Autism: Implication for Abnormalities in Distributed Connectivity and Motor Learning 
Neuropsychology  2009;23(5):563-570.
Children with autism often have difficulty performing skilled movements. Praxis performance requires basic motor skill, knowledge of representations of the movement (mediated by parietal regions), and transcoding of these representations into movement plans (mediated by premotor circuits). The goals of this study were: (a) to determine whether dyspraxia in autism is associated with impaired representational (“postural”) knowledge, and (b) to examine the contributions of postural knowledge and basic motor skill to dyspraxia in autism. Thirty-seven children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and 50 typically developing (TD) children, ages 8–13, completed: (a) an examination of basic motor skills, (b) a postural knowledge test assessing praxis discrimination, and (c) a praxis examination. Children with ASD showed worse basic motor skill and postural knowledge than controls. The ASD group continued to show significantly poorer praxis than controls after accounting for age, IQ, basic motor skill, and postural knowledge. Dyspraxia in autism appears to be associated with impaired formation of spatial representations, as well as transcoding and execution. Distributed abnormality across parietal, premotor, and motor circuitry, as well as anomalous connectivity may be implicated.
doi:10.1037/a0015640
PMCID: PMC2740626  PMID: 19702410
developmental dyspraxia; premotor cortex; autism spectrum disorder; movement representation; motor learning

Results 1-2 (2)