Are resting state spectral power measures related to executive functions in healthy young adults?

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Abstract

Resting-state electroencephalogram (rsEEG) has been found to be associated with psychopathology, intelligence, problem solving, academic performance and is sometimes used as a supportive physiological indicator of enhancement in cognitive training interventions (e.g. neurofeedback, working memory training). In the current study, we measured rsEEG spectral power measures (relative power, between-band ratios and asymmetry) in one hundred sixty five young adults who were also tested on a battery of executive function (EF). We specifically focused on upper Alpha, Theta and Beta frequency bands given their putative role in EF. Our indices enabled finding correlations since they had decent-to-excellent internal and retest reliability and very little range restriction relative to a nation-wide representative large sample. Nonetheless, Bayesian statistical inference indicated support for the null hypothesis concerning lack of monotonic correlation between EF and rsEEG spectral power measures. Therefore, we conclude that, contrary to the quite common interpretation, these rsEEG spectral power measures do not indicate individual differences in the measured EF abilities.

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