Working Memory in ADHD: Prefrontal / Parietal Connections
Current theories of dopaminergic and noradrenergic mechanisms, which are thought to be of importance in the regulation of attention are reviewed. A biphasic model of dopaminergic function is described, in which tonic dopamine exerts a suppressive influence on subcortical dopamine systems by altering tonic / phasic dopaminergic relationships. Noradrenergic mechanisms are of importance in modulating sensory processing at the prefrontal cortical level. The work of Silberstein and colleagues utilizing Steady-State Visually Evoked Potential, during the course of an A-X Continuous Performance Task enables examination of the spatial distribution and dynamics of electrical brain activity during the task. The maintenance of activation in the interval between A and X provides a measure of working memory, thought to be related to prefrontal-parietal activation, which is facilitated by administration of methylphenidate to children with ADHD, suggesting that working memory may be a core deficiency in children with ADHD. While tonic dopamine activity in vental striatum / accumbens gates inhibitory activity, dorsolateral prefrontal-parietal connections allow maintenance of working memory required for goal completion.
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Document Type: Review Article
Publication date: 2001-12-01
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