Behavioural inhibition and hyperactivity: A commentary from alternative perspectives
AuthorDas, J. P.
Papadopoulos, Timothy C.
SourceEuropean Journal of Special Needs Education
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Attention disorders in the school population include attention deficit, hyperactivity and conduct disorders. A key concept for distinguishing hyperactive from attention disorders is behavioural inhibition as advocated by Barkley, a prominent American researcher. However, the concept itself needs to be understood because, as argued in this paper, there are two kinds of inhibition: Pavlov's original concept and the American one. These should be differentiated if the abnormal conditions associated with attention and hyperactivity are to be rationally connected to cognitive characteristics, rather than to be solely based on clinical symptoms and behavioural ratings. We suggest a consensus on the concept of inhibition and a unified view of attention disorders integrating cognitive and behavioural manifestations. Finally, the importance of basing remediation on a theoretically supported and rationally derived set of cognitive training tasks for the amelioration of inattention and hyperactivity is offered.