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Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 145, Issue 1, pp 121–125 | Cite as

Effects of methylphenidate on saccadic responses in patients with ADHD

  • C. KleinEmail author
  • B. FischerJr.
  • B. Fischer
  • K. Hartnegg
Research Note

Abstract

This study examined the effects of methylphenidate on different measures of saccade control, using a repeated measurement design, and the experimental and statistical control of practice effects. Twenty-seven boys with ADHD (mean age 12.6 years, range 10–15 years) were randomly assigned to two testing order conditions (first on-, second off-medication versus first off-, second on-medication) and accomplished the pro-saccadic overlap and the anti-saccadic 200-ms gap tasks (200 trials each). Methylphenidate was found to reduce pro- and anti-saccadic reaction times, error correction times, and the proportion of direction errors during the anti-saccade task. Furthermore, the drug augmented the proportions of express saccades and error corrections. Overlain practice effects were found for most of these measures. Our results suggest a weakening of the fixation, and a strengthening of the “voluntary” system of saccade control by methylphenidate.

Keywords

Pro-saccades Anti-saccades Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) Methylphenidate 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Klein
    • 1
    Email author
  • B. FischerJr.
    • 2
  • B. Fischer
    • 2
  • K. Hartnegg
    • 2
  1. 1.Psychophysiology Research Group, Department of PsychologyUniversity of FreiburgFreiburgGermany
  2. 2.Institute for BiophysicsUniversity of FreiburgFreiburgGermany

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