The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Psychological heterogeneity in AD/HD: A dual pathway model of behaviour and cognition

Sonuga-Barke, Edmund J.S. (2002) Psychological heterogeneity in AD/HD: A dual pathway model of behaviour and cognition Behavioural Brain Research, 130, (1-2), pp. 29-36. (doi:10.1016/S0166-4328(01)00432-6).

Record type: Article


Psychological accounts have characterised attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) as either a neuro-cognitive disorder of regulation or a motivational style. Poor inhibitory control is thought to underpin AD/HD children's dysregulation while delay aversion is a dominant characteristic of their motivational style.
A recent ‘head to head’ study of these two accounts suggest that delay aversion and poor inhibitory control are independent co-existing characteristics of AD/HD (combined type). In the present paper we build on these findings to propose a dual pathway model of AD/HD that recognises two quite distinct sub-types of the disorder. In one AD/HD is the result of the dysregulation of action and thought resulting from poor inhibitory control associated with the meso-cortical branch of the dopamine system projecting in the cortical control centres (e.g. pre-frontal cortex).
In the other AD/HD is a motivational style characterised by an altered delay of reward gradient linked to the meso-limbic dopamine branch associated with the reward circuits (e.g. nucleus accumbens). The two pathways are further distinguished at the levels of symptoms, cognitive and motivation profiles and genetic and non-genetic origins.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Published date: 2002
Keywords: attention deficit, hyperactivity disorder, heterogeneity, inhibitory control, executive function, delay aversion, dopamine, meso-limbic, meso-cortical, birth complications


Local EPrints ID: 18277
ISSN: 0166-4328
PURE UUID: b94860bb-14e0-4b5d-b53d-ea8ff2e62d85

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 18 Jan 2006
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 16:36

Export record



Author: Edmund J.S. Sonuga-Barke

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.