, Volume 41, Issue 5, pp 337–345 | Cite as

EEG Correlates of Anxiety and Emotional Stability in Adult Healthy Subjects

  • V. B. PavlenkoEmail author
  • S. V. ChernyiEmail author
  • D. G. GoubkinaEmail author


We studied peculiarities of the spectral characteristics of EEG in 111 healthy adult subjects of both sexes. The levels of situative anxiety (anxiety state) and personal anxiety were estimated using the Spielberger–Khanin test system. To estimate anxiety-related properties of the personality, Cattel’s technique 16 PF (form А) was used. Estimates of situative anxiety demonstrated only two cases of positive correlation with the spectral power density (SPD) of EEG rhythms (SPDs of the beta2 rhythm in the right-hemisphere temporal and occipital regions; recording with the eyes open). Estimates of personal anxiety positively correlated with the SPDs of the beta1 and (especially) beta2 EEG rhythms. Under conditions with the eyes open, the number of significant correlations was greater, and correlations themselves were tighter than with the eyes closed. The closest correlations of the estimates of personal anxiety with the SPDs of the beta rhythm were found in frontal and central leads of both hemispheres and in parietal and occipital loci of the right hemisphere. Only a single case of correlation of the alpha rhythm SPD with personal anxiety (negative correlation, a parietal lead in the left hemisphere) was found. At the same time, rather numerous correlations of the alpha rhythm expression with an index congeneric to anxiety, the C factor by the Cattel’s questionnaire (emotional stability/instability), were found. Thus, the intense beta EEG rhythm can be considered an electrographic correlate of high situative and personal anxieties. At the same time, the alpha rhythm power correlates with the emotional stability of the individual. We suppose that persons with a well-developed alpha rhythm are characterized by active and stable functioning of the cerebral dopaminergic system; this simultaneously serves as a pre-requisite of high emotional stability and social adaptability.


EEG test systems of Spielberger and Cattel situative anxiety personal anxiety emotional stability 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Vetnadskii Tavricheskii National UniversitySimferopol’Ukraine

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