Emotional deficits in adult ADHD patients: an ERP study

Martin J. Herrmann, Theresa Schreppel, Stefanie C. Biehl, Christian Jacob, Monika Heine, Andrea Boreatti-Hümmer, Andreas Mühlberger, Andreas J. Fallgatter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


This study examined general deficits in positive stimuli evaluation in adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). We investigated the event-related potentials to positive, negative and neutral pictures in 32 adults with ADHD and 32 control subjects. For this study we measured 21 electrodes placed in accordance with the international 10-20 system and calculated the early posterior negativity (EPN), which physiologically is characterized by more negative values for emotional as compared to neutral stimuli. We found significantly reduced EPN values for the ADHD patients compared to the healthy controls, but only in the positive stimuli condition, without any significant differences in the negative stimuli condition. Our data indicate that ADHD patients show less reactivity to positive visual stimuli which might be relevant in the context of described dysfunctions of the motivational-reward system in ADHD.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)340-345
Number of pages6
JournalSocial Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Issue number4
Early online date27 Aug 2009
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009


  • adolescent
  • adult
  • attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity
  • brain mapping
  • electrodes
  • electroencephalography
  • evoked potentials
  • female
  • humans
  • male
  • middle aged
  • mood disorders
  • photic stimulation
  • young adult


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