EEG delta activity: An indicator of attention to internal processing during performance of mental tasks

  • Harmony T
  • Fernández T
  • Silva J
 et al. 
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Abstract

In previous papers we proposed that an increase in delta EEG activity during mental tasks might be related to an increase in subjects' attention to internal processing. In this paper we have made a narrow band. analysis to detect those EEG frequencies that change selectively during the performance of a mental task that requires attention to internal processing, Two different experiments were performed: (1) a difficult mental calculation task and a control stimulus with the same physical characteristics as the arithmetical symbols were presented in random order; (2) the Sternberg paradigm for the analysis of short term memory using a memory set of 5 or 3 digits was also presented in random order. Referential recordings to linked ears were obtained in all leads of the 10/20 system, In the first experiment, the increase of power from 1.56 to 5.46 Hz was observed only during the performance of the task and not during the control condition. In the Sternberg paradigm, the increase of power from 1.56 to 3.90 Hz was greater: during the difficult than during the easy condition. These results support our hypothesis that an increase in delta activity may be related to attention to internal processing during the performance of a mental task.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Attention
  • Delta rhythm
  • EEG frequency analysis
  • Internal concentration
  • Internal processing
  • Mental task

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Authors

  • Thalía Harmony

  • Thalía Fernández

  • Juan Silva

  • Jorge Bernal

  • Lourdes Díaz-Comas

  • Alfonso Reyes

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