Apr 10, 2020

Spontaneous alpha oscillations and low-frequency activities are related to complementary aspects of cognitive control in younger and older adults

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
G. M. ClementsGabriele Gratton


Resting-state EEG is dominated by sustained alpha oscillations, and low-frequency activities (short theta bursts and non-oscillatory 1/f slope). Resting alpha power decreases with age and correlates with intelligence. We propose that alpha facilitates proactive control (requiring task set maintenance in preparation for expected conditions), whereas theta bursts relate to reactive control, requiring task-set updating in response to unexpected demands. Less is known about 1/f slope. To investigate these relationships, we recorded eyes-open and eyes-closed resting EEG from younger and older adults and subsequently tested their performance on a cued flanker task, expected to elicit proactive and reactive control processes. Alpha power and 1/f slope were smaller in older adults, whereas theta power did not show age-related reductions. Resting alpha power and 1/f slope predicted proactive control performance, whereas theta predicted reactive control. Resting theta may indicate greater sensitivity to distraction, reflected in frequent spontaneous updating operations. All predictive associations were present beyond the effect of age, suggesting that these EEG correlates may serve as biomarkers of individual differences in cognitive con...Continue Reading

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