Increased intrasubject variability in response time in youths with bipolar disorder and at-risk family members

Melissa A. Brotman, Melissa H. Rooney, Martha Skup, Daniel S. Pine, Ellen Leibenluft

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Objective: Deficits in sustained attention may represent an endophenotype for bipolar disorder (BD). One heritable measure of sustained attention is intrasubject variability in response time (ISV-RT). We tested the hypothesis that, compared with controls, both youths with BD and those at familial risk for the disorder would have increased ISV-RT. Method: Subjects were 28 patients with BD, 26 unaffected youths with a first-degree relative with BD, and 24 control youths without an affected relative, all aged 7 to 17 years. Subjects completed the Flanker Continuous Performance Test. Results: Bipolar disorder and at-risk youths had increased lSV-RT, compared with the controls. Differences were independent of comorbid psychopathology in youths with BD and present in psychiatrically healthy at-risk youths. Conclusions: Increased ISV-RT may be a risk marker for BD. Further research is needed to investigate the neural and genetic underpinnings of this deficit, as well as the specificity of the finding to BD. J. Am. Acad. Child Adolesc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)628-635
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Bipolar disorder
  • Endophenotype
  • Sustained attention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Increased intrasubject variability in response time in youths with bipolar disorder and at-risk family members'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this