Methylphenidate Effects on Prefrontal Functioning During Attentional-Capture and Response Inhibition

Biological Psychiatry, 05/11/2012

The findings suggest that the improvement of response inhibition seen following methylphenidate administration is due to its influence on underlying attentional mechanisms linked to response control requirements.


  • The effects of methylphenidate (40 mg) were assessed using functional magnetic resonance imaging in 16 healthy volunteers in a within-subject, double-blind, placebo-controlled design.


  • Methylphenidate significantly reduced activation of different regions within the right inferior frontal gyrus/insula to infrequent stimuli associated with successful inhibition, failed inhibition, and attentional capture.
  • These inferior frontal gyrus regions showed different interregional connections with inhibitory and attention networks.
  • For failed inhibitions, methylphenidate increased activation within performance-monitoring regions, including the superior frontal, anterior cingulate, and parietal-occipital cortices, but only after controlling for attentional capture.

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