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Spatiotemporal analysis of alpha frequency components with the ERD technique

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EEG data from 30 channels were recorded during movement and reading tasks and analyzed in the three frequency bands 6– 8 Hz, 8–10 Hz and 10–12 Hz. For each frequency band, the ERD (event-related desynchronization) was quantified and displayed in the form of time courses and maps. The results show that the ERD pattern varies with the frequency component analyzed. In general, upper alpha components (10–12 Hz) demonstrate a short-lasting, task-specific and localized ERD; the ERD of lower alpha components is long-lasting (> 1 sec) and widespread. The ERD can be interpreted as a sign of cortical activation, whereby desynchronization of upper alpha components may reflect more task-specific processes, and desynchronization of middle and lower alpha components may be related to the level of expectancy and attention.

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Author information

Correspondence to Gert Pfurtscheller.

Additional information

Acknowledgement: This study was supported by grants from the Ministry of Science and Research and the "Fonds zur Foerderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung", Projects S4902 and S4905 MED, in Austria and was done in collaboration with Dr. W. Klimesch of the Dept. of Psychology, University of Salzburg.

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Pfurtscheller, G. Spatiotemporal analysis of alpha frequency components with the ERD technique. Brain Topogr 2, 3–8 (1989). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01128838

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Key words

  • EEG mapping
  • ERD mapping
  • Cognitive processes
  • Movement
  • Reading