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.