Evaluation of relational reasoning by a transitive inference task in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

Emiliano Brunamonti, Floriana Costanzo, Anna Mammì, Cristina Rufini, Diletta Veneziani, Pierpaolo Pani, Stefano Vicari, Stefano Ferraina, Deny Menghini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


OBJECTIVE: Here we explored whether children with ADHD have a deficit in relational reasoning, a skill subtending the acquisition of many cognitive abilities and social rules.

METHOD: We analyzed the performance of a group of children with ADHD during a transitive inference task, a task requiring first to learn the reciprocal relationship between adjacent items of a rank ordered series (e.g., A>B; B>C; C>D; D>E; E>F), and second, to deduct the relationship between novel pairs of items never matched during the learning (e.g., B>D; C>E).

RESULTS: As a main result, we observed that children with ADHD were impaired in performing inferential reasoning problems. The deficit in relational reasoning was found to be related to the difficulty in managing a unified representation of ordered items.

CONCLUSION: The present finding documented a novel deficit in ADHD, contributing to improving the understanding of the disorder. (PsycINFO Database Record

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)200-208
Number of pages9
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 21 2016



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