"Ecological" and Highly Demanding Executive Tasks Detect Real-Life Deficits in High-Functioning Adult ADHD Patients

Teresa Torralva*, Ezequiel Gleichgerrcht, Alicia Lischinsky, María Roca, Facundo Manes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: Many adult ADHD patients with a convincing history of real-life executive deficits perform entirely within normal limits or with minimally impaired performance in classical executive tests. The authors assessed a group of high cognitive functioning adult ADHD participants on "ecological" and "highly demanding" executive tasks. Method: A total of 117 adult ADHD participants were classified as showing either a high-functioning (Hi-ADHD) or a low-functioning (Lo-ADHD) neuropsychological profile based on standard assessment. Their performance was compared with healthy controls (n = 21) on an ecological task of executive function (the hotel task) and computerized tasks of high cognitive demand. Results: Lo-ADHD significantly differed from controls on multiple standard neuropsychological variables as well as on the experimental tasks. Hi-ADHD and healthy controls did not differ significantly on any of the standard neuropsychological variables, but a significant difference was found between the groups on measures of the experimental tasks. Conclusion: Real-life executive dysfunction of patients with ADHD who perform within normal range on standard assessment can be detected with the use of more ecological and highly demanding tasks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-19
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Attention Disorders
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Adult ADHD
  • ecological validity
  • executive functions
  • real life

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