Correlation Between EEG Activity and Behavior in Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Adam R. Clarke, Robert J. Barry, Rory McCarthy, Mark Selikowitz


The aim of this study was to determine whether EEG activity in specific bands correlated with the core behavioral symptoms of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD). Sixty boys diagnosed with AD/HD Combined type and 60 age-matched male controls participated in this study. An EEG was recorded during an eyes-closed resting condition and relative power estimates in the delta, theta, alpha, and beta bands, and the theta/beta ratio, were calculated. The EEG measures of the AD/HD group were converted to z scores relative to the controls, and these were correlated with scores on the Conners’ Rating Scale obtained from a parent. The AD/HD group had global increases in theta activity and the theta/beta ratio, increased frontal delta, with reduced global alpha and frontal beta activity. Frontal theta activity correlated with inattention, the theta/beta ratio correlated with hyperactivity-impulsivity, and both measures correlated with a Combined type diagnosis. EEG power anomalies in AD/HD are associated with specific symptom clusters in the disorder.

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