YaleNews features works recently or soon to be published by members of the University community. Descriptions are based on material provided by the publishers. Authors of new books may forward publishers’ book descriptions to us by email.
A New Understanding of ADHD in Children and Adults: Executive Function Impairments
Thomas E. Brown, assistant clinical professor of psychiatry
In this book Thomas E. Brown explains why individuals with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can focus effectively for a few specific activities that strongly interest them or which threaten imminent unpleasantness, even though they have chronic difficulties in focusing on most other tasks, including some they recognize as important. Despite the common belief that individuals with ADHD simply need to exercise “willpower” to make themselves apply their ability to focus in other areas where they need it, Brown uses research data to explain that ADHD is not due to lack of willpower. He presents recent research showing that ADHD impairments are actually due to problems in development of the brain’s management system, its executive functions.
Utilizing recent neuroscience research, Brown’s new model of ADHD explains findings that show individuals with ADHD tend to suffer from developmental delays in maturation of several critically important management areas of the brain, underdeveloped connections that link one brain region to another, and impairments in chemical dynamics of the brain. His model also emphasizes that most of the cognitive functions impaired in ADHD operate with automaticity, without conscious control.