Skip to main content
Log in

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

  • Published:
Neurophysiology Aims and scope

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.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others


  1. T. Hanatani, N. Sumi, S. Taguchi, et al., “Event-related potentials in panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder,” Psychiat. Clin. Neurosci., 59, No. 1, 83–88 (2005).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. N. A. Agadzhanyan and P. I. Terekhin, “Physiological mechanisms of respiratory phenomena at anxiety and depressive disorders,” Fiziol. Cheloveka, 28, No. 3, 112–122 (2002).

    Google Scholar 

  3. R. Thibodeau, R. S. Jorgensen, and S. Kim, “Depression, anxiety, and resting frontal EEG asymmetry: a meta-analytic review,” J. Abnorm. Psychol., 115, No. 4, 715–729 (2006).

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  4. A. Holmes, M. K. Nielsen, and S. Green, “Effects of anxiety on the processing of fearful and happy faces: an event-related potential study,” Biol. Psychol., 77, No. 2, 159–173 (2007).

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  5. А. M. Prikhozhan, Psychology of Anxiety: Children of Underschool and School Age [in Russian], Piter, Saint Petersburg (2007).

    Google Scholar 

  6. N. N. Danilova, C. G. Korshunova, E. N. Sokolov, et al., “Dependence of the heart rhythm on anxiety as a stable individual characteristics,” Zh. Vyssh. Nerv. Deyat., 45, No. 4, 647–666 (1995).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. R. Figueroa Guerrero, R. G. Heath, and A. Escobar-Juyo, “Cortico-subcortical electrophysiological study during the effects of benzodiazepines in patients with panic disorders,” Rev. Neurol., 32, No. 4, 321–327 (2001).

    Google Scholar 

  8. О. V. Vorob’yova, General Cerebral Mechanisms of the Development of Paroxysmal Epileptic and Non-Epileptic Disorders [in Russian], Abstr. of Doctoral Thesis, Med. Sci., Moscow (2001).

  9. R. J. Davidson, J. R. Marshall, A. J. Tomarken, et al., “While a phobic waits: regional brain electrical and autonomic activity in social phobies during anticipation of public speaking,” Biol. Psychiat., 47, No. 2, 85–95 (2000).

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. G. G. Knyazev, E. R. Slobodskaya, L. I. Aftanas, et al., “EEG correlates of emotional disorders and behavioral deviations in schoolchildren,” Fiziol. Cheloveka, 28, No. 3, 16–22 (2002).

    Google Scholar 

  11. О. P. Eliseyev, Practice Manual of the Psychology of Personality [in Russian], Piter, Saint Petersburg (2000).

    Google Scholar 

  12. А. М. Prikhozhan and N. N. Tolstykh, Psychology of Orphanhood [in Russian], Piter, Saint Petersburg (2005).

    Google Scholar 

  13. D. Giannitrapani, The Electrophysiology of Intellectual Functions, Karger, Basel (1985).

    Google Scholar 

  14. D. A Farber and V. V. Alferova, Electroenchaphalogram in Children and Teenagers [in Russian], Pedagogika, Moscow (1972).

  15. G. G. Knyazev and H. R. Slobodskaya, “Personality trait of behavioral inhibition is associated with oscillatory system reciprocal relationships,” Int. J. Psychophysiol., 48, No. 3, 247–261 (2003).

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  16. S. V. Chorniy and V. B. Pavlenko, “Anxiety, its EEG correlates and probable mechanisms,” Uchen. Zap. Tavrichesk. Nats. Univ., 17 (56), No. 1, 89–98 (2004).

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to E. V. Éismont.

Additional information

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

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

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).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: