‘Faulty switch’ behind mind wandering identified in kids

January 6th, 2011 - 1:04 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Jan 6 (IANS) Brain scans of youngsters with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have shown for the first time why they have difficulty in concentrating.They suggest that such children require either much greater incentives or medication (methylphenidate-Ritalin) to focus on a task compared to children without the condition, the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry reports.

If the incentive is low, then those with ADHD fail to ’switch off’ brain regions involved in mind-wandering, according to the Daily Mail.

But when there are strong incentives, or when youngsters are taking their medication, their brain activity is the same as for a child without ADHD, according to University of Nottingham researchers.

The study involved a group of children with ADHD aged nine to 15. Their brains were compared with a group of similar children without ADHD.

All the children played a computer game that involved hitting green aliens as quickly as possible while avoiding black ones.

The research suggests that children with ADHD have difficulty suppressing this part of their brain unless they are on medication or incentives are high.

Study co-author Martin Batty said: “Using brain imaging, we have been able to see inside the children’s heads and observe what it is about ADHD that is stopping them concentrating.”

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