Lambda Waves of Human Subjects of Different Age Levels

  • Tsai Hao-jan
  • Liu Shih-yih


Lambda waves are a relatively recently discovered type of electrical activity of the human brain which so far has been little investigated systematically. Evans [3] in 1949 was the first to report so-called “sharp waves” in the occipital region, which in 1952 [4] he termed lambda waves. Lambda waves are recognized as being a type of electrical activity that is closely related to ordinary physiological and psychological phenomena. Under conditions of good illumination, during spontaneous visual scanning, lambda waves are clearly evident, but during steady fixation at a point, the waves are absent. They are also absent when the eyes are closed or under conditions of darkness [4, 5], Cobb and Pampiglione [2], Roth and Green [12], Green [7], and Groethuysen and Bickford [8] have all observed these phenomena. In addition Gastaut and Bert [6] observed that the brain readily manifested lambda waves when a movie was being watched. Roth, Shaw, and Green [13] observed that lambda waves were readily apparent when K-complexes, which appear from the brain during sleep, were present.


Visual Perception White Paper Visual Imagery Mental Arithmetic Occipital Region 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Wu Qin-e, Wu Zhen-yun, and Liu Shih-yih, [The EEG during sleep inhuman subjects of different age levels] (in Chinese) (1965) (unpublished).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Cobb, W. A., and Pampiglione, G., Occipital sharp waves responsive to visual stimuli, Electroenceph. clin. Neurophysiol., 4:110–111 (1952).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Evans, C. C., Comments on occipital sharp waves responsive to visual stimuli, Electroenceph. clin. Neurophysiol., 4:111 (1952).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Evans, C. C., Some further observations on occipital sharp waves (λ waves), Electroenceph. clin. Neurophysiol., 4:371 (1952).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Evans, C. C., Spontaneous excitation of the visual cortex and association areas — lambda waves, Electroenceph. clin. Neurophysiol., 5:69–74 (1953).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Gastaut, H. J., and Bert, J., EEG changes during cinematographic representation, Electroenceph. clin. Neurophysiol., 6:433–444 (1954).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Green, J., Some observations on lambda waves and peripheral stimulation, Electroenceph. clin. Neurophysiol., 9:691–704 (1957).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Groethuysen, U. C., and Bickford, R. G., Study of the lambda wave response of human beings, Electroenceph. clin. Neurophysiol., 8:344 (1956).Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Mundy-Castle, A. C., Hurst, L. A., Beerstecher, D. M., and Prinsloo, T., The electroencephalogram in the senile psychoses, Electroenceph. clin. Neurophysiol., 6:245–252 (1954).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Perez-Borja, C., Chatrian, G. E., Tyce, F. A., and Rivers, M. H., Electrographic patterns of the occipital lobe in man: A topographic study based on use of implanted electrodes, Electroenceph. clin. Neurophysiol., 14:171–182 (1962).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Rémond, A., and Lesèvre, N., The conditions of appearance and the statistical importance of the lambda waves in normal subjects, Electroenceph. clin. Neurophysiol., 8:172 (1956).Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Roth, M., and Green, J., The lambda waves as a normal physiological phenomenon in the human EEG, Nature, 172:864–866 (1953).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Roth, M., Shaw, J., and Green, J., The form, voltage distribution, and physiological significance of the K-complex, Electroenceph. clin. Neurophysiol., 8:385–402 (1956).CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Consultants Bureau, New York 1971

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tsai Hao-jan
  • Liu Shih-yih

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations