Psychopharmacology

, Volume 197, Issue 3, pp 475–486

The effect of methylphenidate on auditory information processing in healthy volunteers: a combined EEG/MEG study

  • Milena Korostenskaja
  • Dubravko Kičić
  • Seppo Kähkönen
Original Investigation

DOI: 10.1007/s00213-007-1065-8

Cite this article as:
Korostenskaja, M., Kičić, D. & Kähkönen, S. Psychopharmacology (2008) 197: 475. doi:10.1007/s00213-007-1065-8

Abstract

Introduction

The psychomotor stimulant methylphenidate (MPH) has been shown to improve attentional processes, reflected in behavioural measures such as vigilance, reaction time and visual attention tasks. The neural mechanisms of MPH action on sensory information processing, however, remain poorly understood. To the authors’ knowledge, this present study is the first to investigate whether a single dose of MPH affects neural substrates of passive attention in healthy adults studied with simultaneous whole-head magnetoencephalography (MEG) and electroencephalography (EEG).

Methods

Monaural left-ear auditory stimuli were presented in an oddball paradigm with infrequent deviant tones differing in frequency and duration. Neuronal activity was recorded with simultaneous whole-head MEG and EEG in 13 healthy subjects (five females; aged 27 ± 5 years) after oral administration of 40 mg MPH or placebo in a randomised, double-blind, cross-over design. We analysed both electric and magnetic N100, P200 and mismatch negativity (MMN) components.

Results

MPH increased arousal levels in visual analogue scales. MPH had no effect on the dipole strength of MMN or MMNm in either frequency or duration deviations. MPH did, however, reduce P200 amplitudes in EEG.

Conclusions

The lack of effect of MPH on either MMN or MMNm suggests no association between catecholaminergic activities and MMN generation. However, our findings imply that MPH may change the neural bases of auditory information processing such as the early stimulus evaluation reflected in the P200 component. Dopamine and noradrenaline neurotransmitter systems could be responsible for the modulation of these processes. The exclusive effect of MPH on the P200 component could have a clinical application.

Keywords

ADHD Attention Auditory information processing Catecholamines ERPs MEG Methylphenidate MMN P200 Schizophrenia 

Abbreviations

ADHD

attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder

DA

dopamine

EEG

electroencephalography

ERFs

event-related fields

ERPs

event-related potentials

MEG

magnetoencephalography

MPH

methylphenidate

NA

noradrenaline

PET

positron emission tomography

PFC

prefrontal cortex

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Milena Korostenskaja
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Dubravko Kičić
    • 1
    • 5
    • 6
  • Seppo Kähkönen
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.BioMag Laboratory, HUSLABHelsinki University Central HospitalHelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.Department of Psychology, Cognitive Brain Research UnitUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  3. 3.Laboratory of ElectrophysiologyRepublican Vilnius Psychiatric HospitalVilniusLithuania
  4. 4.Division of Neurology MLC2015Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical CenterOhioUSA
  5. 5.Laboratory of Biomedical EngineeringHelsinki University of TechnologyHelsinkiFinland
  6. 6.Helsinki Brain Research CentreUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland