The interactive effects of test-retest and methylphenidate administration on cognitive performance in youth with ADHD: A double-blind placebo-controlled crossover study

Itai Horowitz, Keren Avirame, Jodie Naim-Feil, Mica Rubinson, Elisha Moses, Doron Gothelf, Nava Levit-Binnun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Studies have shown that Methylphenidate (MPH) affects cognitive performance on the neuropsychological tests and clinical symptoms of individuals diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This study investigated the acute effects of MPH on neuropsychological tests to explore the interaction between MPH and test-retest effects. Twenty youths with ADHD were tested before and after MPH intake in a double-blind placebo-controlled crossover design and compared to twenty matched controls. Participants were tested on a range of standardized tasks including sustained attention to response, N-Back, and Word/Color Stroop. Identical tasks were administered twice each testing day, before and 1 hour after MPH/Placebo administration. Healthy controls were tested similarly with no intervention. Decreases in response time (RT) variability across tasks and in commission errors were found in ADHD after MPH. Conversely, a significant increase in RT variability and increase in omission errors were observed after the placebo. In the control group, RT variability and omission errors increased whereas commission errors decreased, suggesting fatigue and practice effects, respectively. Test-retest reliability was higher in controls than ADHD. It is suggested that cognitive tests are sensitive objective measures for the assessment of responses to MPH in ADHD but are also affected by repetition and fatigue.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113056
Number of pages8
JournalPsychiatry Research
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • ADHD
  • Cognitive tests
  • Inhibition
  • Methylphenidate
  • Repetition effect

Cite this