A Quantitative Electroencephalographic Correlate of Sustained Attention Processing

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Abstract

The objective of the present investigation was to develop a quantitative electroencephalographic measure (qEEG) that is sensitive and specific to changes in sustained human performance. A principal components analysis (PCA) was performed on the qEEG obtained from participants during a continuous performance test. Measures of sensitivity (proportion of correctly identified correct responses, or hits) and specificity (proportion of correctly identified incorrect responses, or misses) were calculated to assess the classification accuracy of each newly derived component. PCA solutions produced a right hemisphere component comprised of beta-wave activity measured from four unipolar sites (F8, C6a, C6, and T4) that appeared to be sensitive and specific to changes in human performance. Results provide evidence for the validity of a right hemisphere qEEG measure that is sensitive and specific to changes in sustained human performance. Consistent with the findings of previous research, the present findings implicate the right cerebral hemisphere in the sustained attention process.

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