University Of Tasmania
NDT-158308-continuous-performance-task-in-adhd--is-reaction-time-variab_031418.pdf (309.45 kB)
Download file

Continuous performance task in ADHD: Is reaction time variability a key measure?

Download (309.45 kB)
journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 01:31 authored by Levy, F, Pipingas, A, Harris, EV, Maree Farrow, Silberstein, RB

Objective: To compare the use of the Continuous Performance Task (CPT) reaction time variability (intraindividual variability or standard deviation of reaction time), as a measure of vigilance in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and stimulant medication response, utilizing a simple CPT X-task vs an A-X-task.

Method: Comparative analyses of two separate X-task vs A-X-task data sets, and subgroup analyses of performance on and off medication were conducted.

Results: The CPT X-task reaction time variability had a direct relationship to ADHD clinician severity ratings, unlike the CPT A-X-task. Variability in X-task performance was reduced by medication compared with the children’s unmedicated performance, but this effect did not reach significance. When the coefficient of variation was applied, severity measures and medication response were significant for the X-task, but not for the A-X-task.

Conclusion: The CPT-X-task is a useful clinical screening test for ADHD and medication response. In particular, reaction time variability is related to default mode interference. The A-X-task is less useful in this regard.


Publication title

Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment








Wicking Dementia Research Education Centre


Dove Medical Press

Place of publication

New Zealand

Rights statement

Copyright 2018 Levy et al. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC 3.0)

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Clinical health not elsewhere classified

Usage metrics

    University Of Tasmania