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Inhibitory Control in ADHD and Schizophrenia:
A Comparative Study of Patients and Unaffected Relatives

Von Julia Groß (13.10.2011)

Numerous studies suggest that neuropsychological functions are deficient in ADHD and schizophrenia. Specifically, it has been argued by many researchers that inhibitory deficits represent a central pathophysiological mechanism in both disorders.
The antisaccade task requires the suppression of a reflexive saccade and represents a widely used measure of prepotent response inhibition.

Here, we examined antisaccade performance in individuals with ADHD, individuals with schizophrenia and separate, matched control groups. Additionally, we studied siblings of individuals with ADHD as well as first-degree relatives of individuals with schizophrenia in order to investigate whether antisaccade performance represents an endophenotype for ADHD or schizophrenia.

The results showed that antisaccade latency was impaired in subjects with ADHD compared to healthy controls, whereas the performance of the siblings is intermediate between that of patients and controls. An increased rate of reflexive errors was found for schizophrenia patients compared to healthy controls, while the schizophrenia patients’ first-degree relatives performed intermediate between schizophrenia patients and healthy controls.

Together these findings suggest that antisaccade latency, which reflects the ability to generate a spatially complex, volitional response, may be a marker of a predisposition to ADHD, whereas the rate of reflexive errors, which reflects the ability to suppress a prepotent response, may be more sensitive to the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. 

Julia Groß
* 1982

  • Seit 10/2009
  • Elitestudiengang Neuro-Cognitive Psychology, LMU München
  • 10/2007 – 09/2009
  • Bachelorstudium der Klinischen Linguistik, Universität Bielefeld
  • 10/2004 – 10/2007
  • Ausbildung zur Logopädin, Universitätsklinikum Aachen

Berufliche Erfahrung
  • Seit 05/2010
  • Wissenschaftliche Hilfskraft, Fakultät für Allgemeine und Experimentelle Psychologie, LMU München
  • 04/ 2009 – 08/2009
  • Wissenschaftliche Hilfskraft, Fakultät für Linguistik und Literaturwissenschaft, Universität Bielefeld