Metacognition in adult ADHD: subjective and objective perspectives on self-awareness of cognitive functioning.
ABSTRACT: Although attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adulthood is associated with marked cognitive impairment, research on metacognition in adult ADHD is scarce. Deficits in metacognition may have a negative impact on treatment adherence, functional outcomes, and everyday life. This study explores metacognition, specifically self-awareness of cognitive performance, in adults with ADHD by combining objective and subjective assessments. Forty-seven patients with ADHD and 47 control individuals completed a neuropsychological assessment battery including tests for attention, executive functions and memory (objective assessment), as well as questionnaires for cognitive functioning and symptom severity (subjective assessment; self- and informant-report). Participants evaluated their test performance of the objective assessment after test completion by selecting a percentile rank which was subtracted from their normed test result, yielding a discrepancy score. Compared to controls, adults with ADHD showed impairments in attention (medium effects) and memory (small and medium effects), but not in executive functions. The discrepancy scores between self-evaluation and cognitive performance revealed deficits in self-awareness of attentional functions (small effects), but not in executive functions and memory in patients with ADHD compared to controls. Discrepancy scores between self- and informant-reports of cognitive functioning revealed no significant differences. Adults with ADHD show impairments in metacognition in attentional functions, but may have intact metacognitive abilities in other domains. Patients with ADHD tend to overestimate their abilities, especially in attentional functions. Subjective and objective measures of metacognition may not correspond, highlighting the need for clinicians to not solely rely on patients' self-report in their assessment.
Project description:This study aimed to investigate what characterizes individuals with schizophrenia who experience more or less subjective executive dysfunction in everyday life compared to objective executive performance on neuropsychological tests. Sixty-six participants with broad schizophrenia spectrum disorders completed a comprehensive assessment of executive function. Discrepancies between performance on neuropsychological tests (objective) and an extensive self-report questionnaire (subjective) of central executive functions (inhibition, shifting and working memory) were calculated. Higher level of self-efficacy was the best predictor of experiencing fewer subjective cognitive complaints compared to objective performance, followed by higher levels of disorganized symptoms. Depressive symptoms did not predict discrepancy between subjective and objective executive function. Higher estimated IQ predicted greater subjective working memory difficulties in everyday life despite better objective performance. Results may aid clinicians in the assessment and remediation of cognitive impairment. Low self-efficacy may identify individuals who are not able to utilize their potential executive functions in daily life. Interventions aimed at fostering self-efficacy ought to be included in cognitive remediation for these individuals. Disorganized symptoms could prove useful in identifying individuals who are in need of cognitive remediation for executive dysfunction, despite that they overestimate their skills. These individuals may benefit from efforts to increase insight into cognitive dysfunction.
Project description:Previous studies suggest that in adolescents and young adults, evening chronotype is a subclinical factor in physical, cognitive, and psychiatric fitness; poor sleep habits and larger misalignment with the social schedule constraints may exacerbate symptoms of inattention, impulsivity and the risks for detrimental behaviors. The influence of chronotype on neurocognitive performance during morning hours and scores in self-reports about attention deficit symptoms (ADS) and executive functioning, was explored in 42 healthy young university students (29 women), divided to evening type (ET) and combined morning/intermediate type (MT/IT) groups. Evening chronotypes scored significantly higher in the questionnaires of inattention Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS-6) (MT/IT: 1.62 ± 1.59; ET: 2.71 ± 1.62, p < 0.05) and day-time sleepiness Epworth scale (MT/IT: 7.19 ± 5.17; ET: 11.48 ± 5.26, p < 0.01), reported lower subjective alertness (MT/IT: 63.02 ± 21.40; ET: 40.76 ± 17.43, p < 0.001), and had slower reaction times (MT/IT: 321.47 ± 76.81; ET: 358.94 ± 75.16, p < 0.05) during tests, compared to non-evening chronotypes. Nevertheless, ETs did not significantly differ in self-reports of executive functioning in the Behavioral Rating Inventory of Executive Functions-A (BRIEF-A) from non-ETs. The scores on standard self-report screening tools for ADS and executive functioning (ASRS-6, BRIEF-A-Metacognition) correlated with eveningness. We conclude that eveningness, subjective sleepiness and low arousal levels during morning can present as subclinical Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) symptoms in typical young adults with no evident sleep problems. Self-report based screening tools for ADS and executive functioning reflect chronotype-related traits in healthy young adults. Strong eveningness may bias the results of neurocognitive performance screening for ADHD when administered at morning hours.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Recent research evidence suggests that executive function (EF) is impaired in both pediatric bipolar disorder (PBD) and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), although the underlying cognitive mechanisms are still unclear. In this study we examined EF, including cognitive and emotional control, in three pediatric groups with overlapping symptoms.<h4>Methods</h4>Sixteen children and adolescents with PBD, 17 children and adolescents with ADHD, Type Combined, and 13 children and adolescents with PBD and comorbid ADHD (PBD+ADHD) (mean age=12.70, SD=2.21) were assessed using the Behavioral Rating Inventory of Executive Function - Parental Report (BRIEF-PR), clinical scales and neuropsychological tests of attention, working memory and executive function.<h4>Results</h4>All groups showed impairment on the Trails A and B tests. However, there were no significant group differences. On the BRIEF-PR while all three groups were impaired in General Executive Functioning and Metacognition only the two PBD groups revealed more extensive EF dysfunction, in both cognitive and emotional control domains, relative to the ADHD group. Conversely, the ADHD group exhibited selective deficits in cognitive domains such as working memory, planning/organization, monitoring, and metacognition. The two PBD groups showed greater impairment than the ADHD group in the domains of Inhibition, Shifting, Monitoring and Emotional Control. Furthermore, results from regression analyses suggest cognitive predictors of EF impairment in ADHD and mood predictors for inhibition in PBD.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The current results contribute new knowledge on domain-specific similarities and differences in executive dysfunction between PBD, ADHD, and the comorbid phenotype, which may inform the diagnostic process and cognitive intervention.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Metacognition refers to the ability to evaluate and control our cognitive processes. While studies have investigated metacognition in schizophrenia and clinical high risk for psychosis (CHR), less is known about the potential mechanisms which result in metacognitive deficits.<h4>Aims</h4>We aimed to investigate whether neurocognitive functions including attention, working memory, verbal learning and executive functions predicted the tendency to focus on one's thoughts (cognitive self-consciousness) and beliefs in the efficacy of one's cognitive skills (cognitive confidence).<h4>Method</h4>Participants (130 CHR individuals) were recruited as part of the multi-site PREDICT study. They were assessed using the Metacognitions Questionnaire (MCQ) as well as measures of executive function (WCST), attention (N-Back), working memory (LNS) and verbal learning (AVLT).<h4>Results</h4>Cognitive competence was negatively correlated with N-Back while cognitive self-consciousness was positively correlated with N-Back and LNS. Linear regression analysis with N-Back, AVLT, LNS and WCST as predictors showed that neurocognition significantly predicted cognitive self-consciousness, with N-Back, LNS and WCST as significant predictors. The model accounted for 14% of the variance in cognitive self-consciousness. However, neurocognition did not result in a significant predictive model of cognitive competence.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Neurocognition was associated with an increased focus on one's thoughts, but it was not associated with higher confidence in one's cognitive skills. Neurocognition accounted for less than one-sixth of the variance in metacognition, suggesting that interventions that target neurocognition are unlikely to improve metacognitive abilities.
Project description:Neuropharmacological and human clinical studies have suggested that the brain dopaminergic system is substantively involved in normal and pathological phenotypes of attention. Dopamine transporter gene (SLC6A3) was proposed as a candidate gene for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). We investigated the effect of the SLC6A3 variants on cognitive performance in ADHD and healthy children and teenagers. Participants completed cognitive tasks measuring attentional switching, selective and sustained attention, and effectiveness of alerting, orienting and executive attention. We estimated the effects of 40?bp variable number of tandem repeat (VNTR) polymorphism located in the 3' untranslated region (3' UTR) (9-repeat vs 10-repeat allele) of the SLC6A3 gene, ADHD diagnosis, age, and their interactions as predictors of cognitive performance. ADHD children demonstrated deficits in most of the examined attention processes, persistent within the examined age range (9-16 years). No significant effects were observed for the interaction of ADHD and the SLC6A3 polymorphism, but the results revealed a significant main effect of SLC6A3 genotype in the entire research sample. Subjects carrying 9R allele performed the switching task significantly worse in comparison to children with 10R/10R or 10R/11R genotype. SLC6A3 polymorphism moderated age-related improvements in orienting and attentional switching. Results suggest that SLC6A3 genotype influence these attentional/cognitive functions which deficits are not the key symptoms in ADHD.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Inhibitory control and attention processing atypicalities are implicated in various diseases, including autism spectrum disorders (ASD). These cognitive functions can be tested by using visually guided saccade-based paradigms in children, adolescents and adults to determine the time course of such disorders.<h4>Methods</h4>In this study, using Gap, Step, Overlap and Antisaccade tasks, we analyzed the oculomotor behavior of 82 children, teenagers and adults with high functioning ASD and their peer typically developing (TD) controls in a two-year follow-up study under the auspices of the InFoR-Autism project. Analysis of correlations between oculomotors task measurements and diagnostic assessment of attentional (ADHD-RS and ADHD comorbidity indices) and executive functioning (BRIEF scales) were conducted in order to evaluate their relationship with the oculomotor performance of participants with ASD.<h4>Results</h4>As indicated by the presence of a Gap and Overlap effects in all age groups, the oculomotor performances of ASD participants showed a preserved capability in overt attention switching. In contrast, the difference in performances of ASD participants in the Antisaccade task, compared to their TD peers, indicated an atypical development of inhibition and executive functions. From correlation analysis between our oculomotor data and ADHD comorbidity index, and scores of attention and executive function difficulties, our findings support the hypothesis that a specific dysfunction of inhibition skills occurs in ASD participants that is independent of the presence of ADHD comorbidity.<h4>Limitations</h4>These include the relatively small sample size of the ASD group over the study's two-year period, the absence of an ADHD-only control group and the evaluation of a TD control group solely at the study's inception.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Children and teenagers with ASD have greater difficulty in attention switching and inhibiting prepotent stimuli. Adults with ASD can overcome these difficulties, but, similar to teenagers and children with ASD, they make more erroneous and anticipatory saccades and display a greater trial-to-trial variability in all oculomotor tasks compared to their peers. Our results are indicative of a developmental delay in the maturation of executive and attentional functioning in ASD and of a specific impairment in inhibitory control.
Project description:Neurocognitive problems, including executive dysfunction, are potential late effects of pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia treatment. Surveillance for neurocognitive impairment in a timely and efficient manner is imperative to ongoing clinical care. We sought to determine if the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) Parent Form identified leukemia survivors with cognitive impairment. In this 28-site cross-sectional study, parents of 256 children, a mean of 8.9±2.2 years after treatment for standard-risk precursor-B acute lymphoblastic leukemia and in first remission, completed the BRIEF. We used a multivariate logistic regression to calculate the association between elevated scores on 3 composite BRIEF indices (Behavioral Regulation Index, Metacognition Index, Global Executive Composite [GEC]) and special education and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) outcomes. All BRIEF index scores were significantly associated with receipt of special education services or ADHD. The BRI was most strongly associated with ADHD (odds ratios=4.33; 95% confidence interval, 1.72-10.9). The GEC was most strongly associated with ADHD (odds ratios=4.46; 95% confidence interval, 1.77-11.22). Elevated scores on the BRIEF GEC were associated with low sensitivity (24.1 to 39.1) for detecting the outcomes but better specificity (range, 87.7 to 89.3). These results suggest that the parent-completed BRIEF is associated with clinical outcomes but is not a sensitive tool to identify leukemia survivors that require a comprehensive neuropsychological assessment.
Project description:We sought to determine whether functional connectivity streams that link sensory, attentional, and higher-order cognitive circuits are atypical in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We applied a graph-theory method to the resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data of 120 children with ADHD and 120 age-matched typically developing children (TDC). Starting in unimodal primary cortex-visual, auditory, and somatosensory-we used stepwise functional connectivity to calculate functional connectivity paths at discrete numbers of relay stations (or link-step distances). First, we characterized the functional connectivity streams that link sensory, attentional, and higher-order cognitive circuits in TDC and found that systems do not reach the level of integration achieved by adults. Second, we searched for stepwise functional connectivity differences between children with ADHD and TDC. We found that, at the initial steps of sensory functional connectivity streams, patients display significant enhancements of connectivity degree within neighboring areas of primary cortex, while connectivity to attention-regulatory areas is reduced. Third, at subsequent link-step distances from primary sensory cortex, children with ADHD show decreased connectivity to executive processing areas and increased degree of connections to default mode regions. Fourth, in examining medication histories in children with ADHD, we found that children medicated with psychostimulants present functional connectivity streams with higher degree of connectivity to regions subserving attentional and executive processes compared to medication-naïve children. We conclude that predominance of local sensory processing and lesser influx of information to attentional and executive regions may reduce the ability to organize and control the balance between external and internal sources of information in ADHD.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Subjective complaints of cognitive deficits are not necessarily consistent with objective evidence of cognitive impairment in Parkinson's disease (PD). Here we examined the factors associated with the objective-subjective cognitive discrepancy.<h4>Methods</h4>We consecutively enrolled 90 non-demented patients with PD who completed the Parkinson's Disease Cognitive Functional Rating Scale (subjective cognitive measure) and the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA; objective cognitive measure). The patients were classified as "Overestimators", "Accurate estimators", and "Underestimators" on the basis of the discrepancy between the objective vs. subjective cognitive measures. To identify the factors distinguishing these groups from each other, we used chi-square tests or one-way analyses of variance, completed by logistic and linear regression analyses.<h4>Results</h4>Forty-nine patients (54.45%) were classified as "Accurate estimators", 29 (32.22%) as "Underestimators", and 12 (13.33%) as "Overestimators". Relative to the other groups, the "Underestimators" scored higher on the Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and Parkinson Anxiety Scale (p < 0.01). Logistic regression confirmed that FSS and BDI scores distinguished the "Underestimators" group from the others (p < 0.05). Linear regression analyses also indicated that FSS and BDI scores positively related to objective-subjective cognitive discrepancy (p < 0.01). "Overestimators" scored lower than other groups on the MoCA's total score and attention and working memory subscores (p < 0.01).<h4>Conclusion</h4>In more than 45% of consecutive non-demented patients with PD, we found a 'mismatch' between objective and subjective measures of cognitive functioning. Such discrepancy, which was related to the presence of fatigue and depressive symptoms and frontal executive impairments, should be carefully evaluated in clinical setting.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Although cancer patients frequently report cognitive disturbances, it is commonly asserted a lack of association between cognitive complaints and neuropsychological test performances. Our goal was to better understand the relationships between subjective and objective cognitive scores through a metamemory monitoring assessment. METHODS:Sixty cancer patients currently treated by chemotherapy and/or targeted therapy, and 30 healthy controls (HC) were included. Cognitive complaint was assessed by FACT-cog, QAM and DEX questionnaires. One or more z-scores ?-1.65 among these three questionnaires defined the presence of cognitive complaints. Objective cognitive performances assessed episodic memory, processing speed and executive functions/working memory (ESR paradigm, TMT, Stroop, n-back). Metamemory was assessed with a Judgment of Learning (JOL) task. RESULTS:Patients with cognitive complaints had significantly more depressive and anxiety symptoms (ps < .004), and lower performances on several cognitive tests (ps < .05) than both patients without complaints and HC. More specifically, analyses of the metamemory scores revealed that HC gave significantly more overestimations ("Yes" judgment and incorrect recall) than patients with cognitive complaints (p = .036). For these patients, JOL scores correlated positively with executive functioning (ps < .01). CONCLUSION:Metamemory monitoring seems to be well-preserved during cancer. What is more, patients make less overestimation than HC, and they do not underestimate their memory. An accurate self-estimation of memory abilities in cancer patients, particularly those with mild cognitive deficits, may play an adaptive function. Our results suggest that the discrepancy frequently reported between cognitive complaints and objective cognitive scores may not be related to metamemory monitoring dysfunction.