Methylphenidate increases willingness to perform effort in adults with ADHD.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

BACKGROUND: A reduced willingness to perform effort based on the magnitude and probability of potential rewards has been associated with diminished dopamine function and may be relevant to attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Here, we investigated the influence of ADHD status and methylphenidate on effort-based decisions. We hypothesized that ADHD participants would make fewer high-effort selections than non-ADHD subjects, and that methylphenidate would increase the number of high-effort selections. Furthermore, we hypothesized there would be associations among ADHD severity and methylphenidate-related changes in effort-based and attentional performance across all participants. METHODS AND PARTICIPANTS: ADHD (n = 23) and non-ADHD (n = 23) adults completed the Effort Expenditure for Rewards Task in which participants select between low-effort and high-effort options to receive monetary rewards at varying levels of reward magnitude and probability. A test of attentional performance was also completed. RESULTS: Overall, participants made more high-effort selections as potential reward magnitude and probability increased. ADHD participants did not make fewer high-effort selections than non-ADHD participants, but ADHD participants showed greater methylphenidate-related increases in high-effort selections. ADHD participants had worse attentional performance than non-ADHD participants. ADHD severity was associated with methylphenidate-related changes in high-effort selections, but not changes in attentional performance. CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate that methylphenidate increases the willingness to perform effort in individuals with ADHD, possibly due to disorder-related motivational deficits. This provides support for theories of insufficient effort allocation among individuals with ADHD. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Identifier, NCT02630017.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Addicott, MA; Schechter, JC; Sapyta, JJ; Selig, JP; Kollins, SH; Weiss, MD

Published Date

  • August 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 183 /

Start / End Page

  • 14 - 21

PubMed ID

  • 31226260

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC6628703

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1873-5177

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.pbb.2019.06.008


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States