Automatic sensory change processing in adults with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder: a visual mismatch negativity study

Publication Name

European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience


In addition to higher-order executive functions, underlying sensory processing ability is also thought to play an important role in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD). An event-related potential feature, the mismatch negativity, reflects the ability of automatic sensory change processing and may be correlated with AD/HD symptoms and executive functions. This study aims to investigate the characteristics of visual mismatch negativity (vMMN) in adults with AD/HD. Twenty eight adults with AD/HD and 31 healthy controls were included in this study. These two groups were matched in age, IQ and sex. In addition, both groups completed psychiatric evaluations, a visual ERP task used to elicit vMMN, and psychological measures about AD/HD symptoms and day-to-day executive functions. Compared to trols, the late vMMN (230–330 ms) was significantly reduced in the AD/HD group. Correlation analyses showed that late vMMN was correlated with executive functions but not AD/HD symptoms. However, further mediation analyses showed that different executive functions had mediated the relationships between late vMMN and AD/HD symptoms. Our findings indicate that the late vMMN, reflecting automatic sensory change processing ability, was impaired in adults with AD/HD. This impairment could have negative impact on AD/HD symptoms via affecting day-to-day executive functions.

Open Access Status

This publication is not available as open access

Funding Number


Funding Sponsor

National Natural Science Foundation of China



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