Atypical acquisition and atypical expression of memory consolidation gains in a motor skill in young female adults with ADHD

Esther Adi-Japha, Orly Fox, Avi Karni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Individuals with ADHD often show performance deficits in motor tasks. It is not clear, however, whether this reflects less effective acquisition of skill (procedural knowledge), or deficient consolidation into long-term memory, in ADHD. The aim of the study was to compare the acquisition of skilled motor performance, the expression of delayed - consolidation phase - gains and retention, in persons with and without ADHD. Thirty-two participants, 16 with ADHD, were trained on a sequence of finger movements using a well-established training protocol, and tested before training and immediately, 24. h and 2. weeks after training. Both groups showed similar within-session gains in speed; additional, delayed gains were expressed at 24. h, but less robustly in ADHD, and at 2. weeks post-training. However, while controls showed significant delayed gains in accuracy at 24. h and 2. weeks post-training, accuracy deteriorated in ADHD from pre-training to 24. h post-training and was only at pre-training levels by 2-weeks post-training. Our results demonstrate a latent memory consolidation phase in motor sequence learning, expressed as delayed gains in speed and a much delayed recovery of pre-training accuracy, in individuals with ADHD. However, both the acquisition and memory consolidation of motor skills are atypical in ADHD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1011-1020
Number of pages10
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Volume32
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2011

Keywords

  • ADHD
  • Motor learning
  • Procedural memory consolidation
  • Speed-accuracy trade-off

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

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