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EEG Correlates of Different Types of Anxiety in 14- to 15-Year-Old Teenagers

We studied peculiarities of the spectral characteristics of electroencephalogram (EEG) in 14- to 15-year-old teenagers with dissimilar levels of different types of anxiety. These levels were estimated using Spielberger–Khanin’s questionnaire and Prikhozhan’s scale of personal anxiety; the latter allowed us to estimate different types of anxiety (self-appraisal, interpersonal, school, and “magic,” related to a fear of mystic phenomena). In teenagers with a high level of some types of anxiety, we observed lower values of the spectral power density (SPD) of the alpha rhythm, sensorimotor rhythm (12–15 Hz), and beta1 rhythm, as well as a somewhat lower modal frequency of the alpha rhythm, as compared with the respective indices in teenagers of the same age with low estimates of anxiety. Analysis of EEG correlates of different types of anxiety showed the following. A high level of school anxiety correlated with low ratios of the SPDs of the alpha3/theta rhythms, sensorimotor rhythm/theta activity, and beta1/theta rhythms. In teenagers with high indices of self-appraisal anxiety, we found low values of the alpha-rhythm modal frequency. High levels of interpersonal anxiety estimated using Prikhozhan’s scale and of personal anxiety estimated by Spielberger correlated with low values of the SPD of the alpha2 rhythm. High indices in the scale of “magic” anxiety were related to decreased values of the modal frequencies of the alpha1 and alpha3 rhythms, a low SPD of the alpha rhythm (8–13 Hz), and to lower ratios of the SPDs of the alpha2/theta rhythms. Therefore, we found that spectral characteristics of EEGs in 14- to 15-year-old teenagers with a high level of one particular type of anxiety or another (school, self-appraisal, interpersonal, or “magic”) can, even at a relatively low level of general personal anxiety, significantly differ from some aspects from spectral characteristics of EEGs of teenagers with low values in analogous scales of anxiety.

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Correspondence to E. V. Éismont.

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Neirofiziologiya/Neurophysiology, Vol. 40, Nos. 5/6, pp. 448–456, September-December, 2008.

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Éismont, E.V., Aliyeva, Т.А., Lutsyuk, N.V. et al. EEG Correlates of Different Types of Anxiety in 14- to 15-Year-Old Teenagers. Neurophysiology 40, 377–384 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11062-009-9063-6

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Keywords

  • electroencephalogram
  • test systems (questionnaires) by Spielberger and Prikhozhan
  • anxiety
  • particular types of anxiety
  • teenagers