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Scholars Day 2007, Wednesday, April 11

The Effect of Stimulant Medication in Children Diagnosed with ADHD

Children diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) demonstrate impairments on a variety of behavioral tests. Stimulant medication has been shown to normalize performance on many of these tests in children diagnosed with ADHD, however the effects on motivation are unclear. This study examined the effects of stimulant medication on a motivational task in children diagnosed with ADHD. Motivation was measured using a Progressive Ratio Task that required children to press a response lever to receive a nickel reinforcer. The number of lever presses required to obtain each nickel was increased by ten for the entire task. Children diagnosed with ADHD off medication made a similar number of responses as controls. In contrast, stimulant medication significantly increased the number of responses made by children diagnosed with ADHD. The results show that stimulant medication increased motivation in children diagnosed with ADHD, even when motivation in these children was similar to controls.

Presenter: Patricia Bamonti (Undergraduate Student)
Topic: Psychology
Location: 107 Holmes
Time: 11:30 am (Session II)