Can the CANTAB identify adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder? A controlled study

Ronna Fried, Maura DiSalvo, Caroline Kelberman, Joseph Biederman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


We examined the diagnostic utility of the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB) for identifying adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The sample consisted of clinically referred adults aged 18 to 60 years old, with (n = 474) and without (n = 163) DSM-IV diagnosis of ADHD. All subjects were administered seven subtests from the CANTAB that targeted domains of executive functioning and verbal memory. Data were analyzed to identify which CANTAB tasks would best predict ADHD status. Our results failed to show any diagnostic utility for the CANTAB in adults with ADHD, even when using the most robust tests (Affective Go/No-go [AGN] Total Commissions and [RTI] Simple Reaction Time) identified from stepwise logistic regression (forward selection; p > 0.05 for entry). However, the CANTAB was helpful in identifying executive functioning disorder (EFD) in adults with ADHD when compared with controls subjects. Even though the CANTAB lacked diagnostic utility for adults with ADHD, the findings provided further evidence that adult ADHD is strongly associated with EFD. This study represents the most comprehensive evaluation of the diagnostic utility of the CANTAB in a clinical sample of adults with ADHD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)318-327
Number of pages10
JournalApplied neuropsychology. Adult
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • ADHD
  • adults
  • diagnostics
  • executive functioning


Dive into the research topics of 'Can the CANTAB identify adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder? A controlled study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this