Effects of methylphenidate on EEG coherence in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder


Abbott, I.; Barry, Robert J.; Clarke, A. R.; Croft, Rodney J.; Hsu, C.; Johnstone, S.; Lawrence, C.; Magee, C.; McCarthy, R.; Selikowitz, M.


This study investigated the effects of methylphenidate on intrahemispheric and interhemispheric EEG coherence in children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD). Twenty boys with AD/HD Combined type and 20 age- and sex-matched control subjects, aged 8 to 13 years, participated in this study. EEG was recorded from 21 sites during an eyes-closed resting condition. Wave-shape coherence was calculated for eight intrahemispheric electrode pairs (four in each hemisphere), and eight interhemispheric electrode pairs, within each of the delta, theta, alpha and beta bands. AD/HD children were tested both off and, 6 months later, on a therapeutic dose of methylphenidate. In intrahemispheric comparisons, AD/HD children had lower theta coherences at long inter-electrode distances, and reduced lateralisation at both long and short–medium inter-electrode distances than controls. For interhemispheric comparisons, AD/HD children showed increased coherences in the frontal regions for the low frequency bands (delta and theta), and reduced coherences in the alpha bands in all other regions. These EEG coherences suggest reduced cortical differentiation and specialisation in AD/HD, particularly in the frontal regions. Methylphenidate did not produce any changes in coherence values. The lack of sensitivity of coherence measures to methylphenidate in the present study suggests that eyes-closed resting EEG coherence measures are associated with structural connectivity of the underlying regions of the brain rather than the degree of functionality of these regions. These results suggest the existence of structural as well as functional brain dysfunction in AD/HD.

Publication year


Publication type

Journal article


International Journal of Psychophysiology, Vol. 58, no. 1 (2005), pp. 4-11






Copyright © 2005 Elsevier B.V.