Altered strategy in short-term memory for pictures in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: A near-infrared spectroscopy study

Masafumi Sanefuji, Hiroshi Yamashita, Hiroyuki Torisu, Yui Takada, Hisako Imanaga, Mayumi Matsunaga, Yoshito Ishizaki, Yasunari Sakai, Keiko Yoshida, Toshiro Hara

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Strategy in short-term memory for serially presented pictures shifts gradually from a non-phonological to a phonological method as memory ability increases during typical childhood development. However, little is known about the development of this strategic change in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). To understand the neural basis of ADHD, we investigated short-term memory strategies using near-infrared spectroscopy. ADHD children aged from 6 to 12 years and age- and sex-matched control children were assessed in this study. Regional activity was monitored in the left ventrolateral prefrontal cortex to assess strategies used during short-term memory for visual or phonological objects. We examined the hypothesis that the strategic methods used would be correlated with memory ability. Higher memory ability and the phonological strategy were significantly correlated in the control group but not in the ADHD group. Intriguingly, ADHD children receiving methylphenidate treatment exhibited increased use of phonological strategy compared with those without. In conclusion, we found evidence of an altered strategy in short-term memory in ADHD children. The modulatory effect of methylphenidate indicates its therapeutic efficacy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-42
Number of pages6
JournalPsychiatry Research - Neuroimaging
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 30 2014


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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