Effects of methylphenidate on attention and nonverbal learning in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder

Kathleen O'Toole*, Ann Abramowitz, Robin Morris, Mina Dulcan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To examine effects of methylphenidate (MPH) doses on attention and learning tasks requiring varying levels of processing in 23 children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Method: Performance on a continuous performance task (CPT) and two difficulty levels of a nonverbal learning task was evaluated on two doses of MPH (0.3 mg/kg and 0.8 mg/kg) and placebo. Results: CPT commission errors were significantly reduced with low-dose MPH compared with placebo while omission errors were not medication-sensitive. Performance on nonverbal learning tasks was significantly improved with MPH. On the easy level of the nonverbal learning task, performance improved equally well with either dose. On the hard level, performance was significantly better at the high dose compared with placebo; no between-dose differences emerged across learning trials. However, the high dose was superior to low and placebo doses in memory recall trials. Conclusions: Impulsivity may be reduced on an attentional task with a low dose of MPH, and a high dose of MPH may optimize retention and recall of complex nonverbal information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)531-538
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Volume36
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1997

Keywords

  • attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • memory
  • methylphenidate
  • nonverbal learning
  • pharmacotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of methylphenidate on attention and nonverbal learning in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this