Assessment of Error Processing and Category Learning in Children with ADHD

Open Access
Author:
Tam, Helen
Graduate Program:
Psychology
Degree:
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
December 07, 2011
Committee Members:
  • Cynthia L Huang Pollock, Thesis Advisor
Keywords:
  • ADHD
  • Post-error Slowing
  • Category Learning
Abstract:
Previous studies have suggested that children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) show greater difficulty processing error feedback information as compared to their same-aged peers. The ability to use the information provided in feedback is often behaviorally operationalized by the degree to which individuals slow down after committing an error, a phenomenon known as post-error slowing. This study evaluated post-error slowing in a category-learning paradigm from a developmental perspective. It further assess for between group differences in post-error slowing in children with and without attentional difficulties. Results indicated that typically developing children are less able to use feedback information to inform future behavior as compared to adults. Furthermore, children with elevated levels of inattention/hyperactivity showed an inverse relationship between post-error slowdown and accuracy. These findings suggest a potential endophenotype regarding the source of learning difficulties in children with ADHD.