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Poster D119

Sensory Sensitivity and Multisensory Integration in adults with ADHD: An EEG Investigation

Poster Session D - Monday, April 15, 2024, 8:00 – 10:00 am EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Carolynn Hare1 (, Michelle Luszawski1, Carol Atta1, Glenda Zhai1, Yuhe Li1, Julia Shannon1, Kathleen McCombe1, Ryan A. Stevenson1; 1Western University

Increasing evidence suggests that sensory processing may be impacted in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), specifically hyper- and hypo-sensitivities to sensory information in multiple sensory modalities, as well the ability to integrate sensory integration across modalities. Previous studies on sensory processing in ADHD have shown mixed results in behavioural studies, however, multiple imaging studies suggest that even when little to no behavioural differences in multisensory integration are observed, differences in the neural mechanisms underlying integration are still seen. First, we examined whether sensory sensitivity in auditory and visual domains differ in adults with ADHD (n=31) compared to Neurotypical (n=29) adults using a discrimination task with an adaptive staircasing procedure. Second, we examined whether audiovisual multisensory integration is affected in the same adults using a speeded response tasks paired with electroencephalography (EEG) measures. Participants were presented with auditory pure tones, visual Gabor patches, or a combination thereof, all embedded in audiovisual white noise. Participants responded as quickly as possible when they detected any stimulus. No group differences in sensory sensitivity were found for either the visual or auditory domain. The ADHD group exhibited increased multisensory gain in response times compared to the Neurotypical group using Miller’s race model, but no difference in accuracy gain. EEG analysis shows differences in neuronal processing in frontal and occipital electrodes. Taken together, these results suggest that behavioural and neural differences for multisensory integration may exist in individuals with ADHD compared to Neurotypical adults, despite a lack of differences in sensory sensitivity.

Topic Area: PERCEPTION & ACTION: Multisensory


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