Journal of Neural Transmission

, Volume 115, Issue 2, pp 279–285 | Cite as

Very low frequency EEG oscillations and the resting brain in young adults: a preliminary study of localisation, stability and association with symptoms of inattention

  • S. Helps
  • C. James
  • S. Debener
  • A. Karl
  • E. J. S. Sonuga-BarkeEmail author


Background. Spontaneous very low frequency oscillations (VLFO: <0.2 Hz) in functional magnetic-resonance imaging are proposed to identify a default-mode network of resting brain activity. Activity in this network has been related to lapses of attention during goal-directed tasks and may provide a basis for ADHD. This study assessed the relation between scalp-recorded EEG VLFO at rest and ADHD.

Methods. 13 young adults with high- and 11 with low self-ratings of ADHD participated. Direct current EEG was recorded during a five minute rest session and was retested after approximately 1 week.

Results. A consistent and temporally stable pattern of VLFOs was observed across specific scalp regions in low-ADHD participants. High-ADHD participants had less VLFO power across these locations, especially where inattention self-ratings were high. Inattention was not related to VLFO power in other locations.

Discussion. Initial evidence is provided for a pattern of VLFOs at rest which is associated with inattention symptoms.

Keywords: Low frequency oscillations; direct current EEG; resting state; default mode; young adults; attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder; spontaneous neuronal activity 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Helps
    • 1
  • C. James
    • 2
  • S. Debener
    • 3
  • A. Karl
    • 1
  • E. J. S. Sonuga-Barke
    • 1
    • 4
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.School of PsychologyUniversity of SouthamptonSouthamptonUK
  2. 2.Institute of Sound and Vibration ResearchUniversity of SouthamptonSouthamptonUK
  3. 3.MRC Institute of Hearing ResearchUniversity of SouthamptonSouthamptonUK
  4. 4.Child Study CentreNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA
  5. 5.Social, Genetic, Developmental Psychiatry Centre, Institute of PsychiatryLondonUK

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