Previous studies on the distribution of attentional resources during time have yielded a differential performance
in patients with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), in relation to healthy controls. The Attentional Blink
(AB) experimental paradigm probes the ability to discriminate visual stimuli in close temporal proximity. The electrophysiological
mechanisms underlying the AB have been intensively studied in healthy individuals, and seems to be very
appropriate to evaluate the temporal distribution of attentional resources in ADHD. We recorded Event-Related Potentials
(ERPs) to stimuli arranged in a rapid serial visual presentation task. Fourteen male children (age: 11.6±2.1) who met
DSM-IV criteria for ADHD of the combined subtype participated in the study, along with fourteen age and sex-matched
healthy controls (11.2±2.3). They were all screened to discard comorbidites. Behavioral responses showed an increased
number of commission and omission errors in the ADHD group. Nonetheless, both groups exhibited a significant AB for
probes presented in close temporal proximity to targets. ERP waveforms in ADHD showed a P300 component of reduced
amplitude, elicited both by detected and undetected probes. However, in the control group the P300 was only elicited by
detected probes and its amplitude was larger. As the P3 component is considered to reflect context updating in working
memory, its elicitation by missed probes during the attentional blink suggests a failure of an inhibitory selection mechanism
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