Probabilistic Learning in Children With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Marjolein Luman*, Tieme W.P. Jansen, Marleen Bink, Rosa van Mourik, Athanasios Maras, Jaap Oosterlaan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objective: The current study examined instrumental learning in ADHD. Method: A total of 58 children with ADHD and 58 typically developing (TD) children performed a probabilistic learning task using three reward probability conditions (100%, 85%, 70% reward). After a learning phase, application of what was learned was assessed in a test phase. Results: Results showed that children with ADHD performed less accurate compared with TD children during the learning phase, particularly in the 100% and 85% reward probability conditions. These findings were accompanied by a blunted learning rate in the first few task trials. Furthermore, children with ADHD showed poorer application of what was learned. Conclusion: To conclude, children with ADHD show initial learning problems, but increased performance in a similar manner as TD children independent of the probability of reward, although they fail to apply their knowledge. Findings are of clinical relevance as the application of knowledge is important to successfully adapt to daily challenges in life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1407-1416
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Attention Disorders
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021
Externally publishedYes

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