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Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 411–423 | Cite as

Classical conditioning in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and anxiety disorders: A test of Quay's model

  • Steven R. Pliszka
  • John P. Hatch
  • Steve H. Borcherding
  • Graham A. Rogeness
Article

Abstract

Quay (1988) put forward a model of childhood mental disorders based on Gray's (1982) theory that there exists within the brain a behavioral inhibition system (BIS), which processes signals related to aversive or punishing stimuli. According to this model, children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) show lower than optimal levels of activity in this system, which leads to less responsiveness at a physiological level to signals related to punishment. Children with ADHD and controls were compared on a classical conditioning paradigm. Skin conductance and cardiac responses were measured in response to a conditioned stimulus that had been paired with an aversive unconditioned stimulus. There were no differences between the groups, suggesting that, in terms of classical conditioning, ADHD children are equally responsive to signals related to punishment as controls.

Keywords

Mental Disorder Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Conditioned Stimulus Anxiety Disorder Optimal Level 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven R. Pliszka
    • 1
  • John P. Hatch
    • 1
  • Steve H. Borcherding
    • 1
  • Graham A. Rogeness
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryThe University of Texas Health Science CenterSan Antonio

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