Investigation of EEG Alpha Rhythm of Artists and Nonartists During Visual Perception, Mental Imagery, and Rest

Nasrin Shourie, S. Mohammad P. Firoozabadi, Kambiz Badie

Abstract


In this article, differences in alpha power between multichannel EEG signals of artists and nonartists were investigated. The two groups were compared during visual perception,mental imagery, and at-rest conditions. We found no significant differences between the two groups
in absolute alpha power at rest. Both absolute and relative alpha power were found to be significantly lower in artists during the visual perception and the mental imagery tasks for some of the channels, suggesting that the cerebral efforts of artists were higher during these conditions. These results indicate that artists considered more features of a painting compared to nonartists. The two groups differed in relative alpha power during the visual perception task compared to the at-rest condition. Relative alpha power values decreased during the visual perception for both groups; however, their variation patterns were different. More significant decreases in relative upper alpha power (10-12Hz) during the visual perception task for nonartists were observed, whereas more significant decreases in relative lower alpha power (8-10Hz) for artists during the visual perception task. These differences may be employed to measure progress in novice artists. In addition, it was found that upper phasic alpha power values were higher in artists compared to nonartists during the visual perception task. In the mental imagery task, lower phasic alpha power values were found to be higher in nonartists. However, the differences between the two groups were not significant in all of the channels indicating that EEG signals do not need to recorded in all channels when determining artistic expertise by absolute, relative, or phasic alpha power.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/10874208.2013.813180

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