Attentional Factors and Individual Differences Reflected in the EEG

  • William J. Ray
Conference paper
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 130)


For the last few years the work in my laboratory has been directed toward understanding how individual differences are reflected in psychophysiological measures of cognitive and emotional processing. This program has brought together two somewhat different approaches to research. On the one hand we have sought to find the relationship between such psychophysiological processes as EEG and the processing of cognitive and emotional material (e.g., Ray & Cole, 1985). In this traditional approach to experimental research, the relationship between the dependent and independent variable is emphasized and individual differences minimized or ignored. On the other hand we have also used the opposite research approach which emphasizes individual differences. With this approach we seek to find situations which allow us to demonstrate performance differences between individuals or groups of individuals. These differences have been organized in terms of sex, gender, anxiety, introversion/extraversion, or spatial ability and are also present in behavioral measures and the EEG (cf., Ray, Newcombe, Semon and Cole, 1981; Ray & Geselowitz, 1985; Berfield, Ray & Newcombe, 1986). In this chapter I will discuss research from each of these parallel lines of inquiry. After a brief overview of the EEG hemispheric activation literature, two recent studies from my laboratory examining the role of basic attentional mechanisms will be presented.


Temporal Lobe Epilepsy Spatial Ability Mental Arithmetic Alpha Activity Attentional Demand 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • William J. Ray
    • 1
  1. 1.Penn State UniversityUniversity ParkUK

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