The second edge of ADHD: an advantage in motor learning and performance with task-irrelevant background vibratory noise

Maria Korman, Lian Meir-Yalon, Nebal Egbarieh, Avi Karni

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Received Date: 22nd August 18

Young adults with ADHD often gain less than expected from practice sessions well-suited for their peers. Here, we tested whether task-irrelevant, low-intensity vibratory stimulation (VtSt), suggested to modulate motor learning, may compensate for such learning deficits. Participants were given training, either with or without VtSt, on a sequence of finger opposition movements. Under VtSt, typical individuals had reduced overnight, consolidation phase, gains; performance partly recovering one week later. In contrast, participants with ADHD benefitted from VtSt both during the acquisition (online) and the overnight skill consolidation (offline) phases. One week later, both groups showed robust retention of the gains in performance, but when tested with background VtSt, individuals with ADHD outperformed their typical peers. We propose that ADHD can confer advantages in performance, learning and skill memory consolidation in specific ‘noisy’ conditions that adversely affect typical adults; we conjecture that the effects of VtSt are contingent on baseline arousal levels.

Read in full at bioRxiv.

This is an abstract of a preprint hosted on an independent third party site. It has not been peer reviewed but is currently under consideration at Nature Communications.

Nature Communications

Nature Research, Springer Nature