Attentional switching-related human EEG alpha oscillations.

Abstract

Alpha oscillations during cognitive performance have mostly been studied in memory and/or basic attention tasks. This study investigates task-related alpha power desynchronization during an attentional switching task requiring higher executive attentional control. Low 8-10 Hz and high 10-12 Hz alpha power responses are studied in good versus poor performers based upon normative data. Accurate, fast and stable performers showed significant task-related desynchronization in the 8-10 Hz range during attentional switching, whereas inaccurate performers hypersynchronized in the 10-12 Hz range, and slow and unstable performers did not demonstrate significant alpha reactivity. These preliminary findings indicate, in agreement with previous research, functional differences in these narrow frequency bands. The 8-10 Hz power decrease is likely to be related to phasic arousal or alertness, whereas the 10-12 Hz power increase appears to be associated with inaccurate attentional switching.

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