Alterations in theta activity associated with novelty and routinization processing in ADHD

Kamran Fallahpour, Simon D. Clarke, Elkhonon Goldberg, Daniel F. Hermens, Erin M. Falconer, Evian Gordon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective: Novelty and routinization-related information processing disturbances were examined in adolescent males with ADHD using an oddball paradigm and electrophysiological measurement of theta (4-7. Hz) activity. Methods: Fifty-four unmedicated adolescent males (12-18. years) with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and matched controls performed an auditory oddball task. Theta activity was sub-averaged, and Fourier Integrals with simultaneous measurement of electrodermal activity (EDA) was used to index response to stimulus novelty and routinization. Results: ADHD participants showed an overall increase in theta activity to both novel and routine stimuli relative to controls. While controls showed increased theta activity in response to novel compared to routine targets across the brain, ADHD participants did not show this novelty-related increase in theta activity in the right anterior/frontal brain. Conclusions: The findings of this study are consistent with disturbances in theta activity and the brain substrates of novelty relative to routinization-related processing in ADHD. Significance: These findings show that there are distinct alterations in theta activity related to stimulus novelty and routinization during an auditory oddball task in ADHD, and they highlight the value of using an event-related approach to elucidate the neural substrates of stimulus processing in ADHD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1336-1342
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Neurophysiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • ADHD
  • Attention
  • EEG
  • Novelty
  • Routinization
  • Salience
  • Theta


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