Rhythmic oscillations in quantitative EEG measured during a continuous performance task


The objective of the present investigation was to determine if cyclic variations in human performance recorded during a 30 min continuous performance task would parallel cyclic variations in right-hemisphere beta-wave activity. A fast fourier transformation was performed on the quantitative electroencephalogram (qEEG) and the performance record of each participant (N = 62), producing an individual periodogram for each outcome measure. An average periodogram was then produced for both qEEG and performance by combining (averaging) the amplitudes associated with each periodicity in the 62 original periodograms. Periodicities ranging from 1.00 to 2.00 min and from 4.70 to 5.70 min with amplitudes greater than would be expected due to chance were retained (Smith et al. 2003). The results of the present investigation validate the existence of cyclic variations in human performance that have been identified previously (Smith et al. 2003) and extend those findings by implicating right-hemisphere mediated arousal in the process (Arruda et al. 1996, 1999, 2007). Significant cyclic variations in left-hemisphere beta-wave activity were not observed. Taken together, the findings of the present investigation support a model of sustained attention that predicts cyclic changes in human performance that are the result of cyclic changes in right-hemisphere arousal. © 2008 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Publication Title

Applied Psychophysiology Biofeedback