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Annals of General Psychiatry

Open Access

Relationships between learnability and individual indices of EEG alpha activity

  • Olga Bazanova1 and
  • Lubomir Aftanas2
Annals of General Psychiatry20065(Suppl 1):S182

Published: 28 February 2006


Cognitive PerformancePeak FrequencySpectral PeakBehavioral TraitHealthy Male Volunteer


Several studies indicate that EEG alpha activity is associated with cognitive performance and learnability (Anokhin and Vogel, 1996, Klimesch and Doppelmayr, 1998). It was demonstrated that resting alpha power is increased under conditions that are associated with enhanced cognitive processing capacity or situations where subjects try to increase their capacity. (Klimesch, 1999) Different parameters of alpha, however, are related to different aspects of cognitive performance and learnability in different ways

Materials and methods

The healthy male volunteers (n = 129) students and teachers of colleges and universities (age from 16 to 50 years old) participated in the study the main objective of which was to determine relationships between individual indices of EEG alpha activity (maximal spectral peak frequency – IFMA, alpha band width – IABW, stability – S, duration – T, and rise time of alpha spindle – CV) and psychometric parameters of learnability.


people showing high IFMA (i.e., in the range of 10–14 Hz) along with high stability and duration of alpha spindle manifest behavioral traits of more effective performance in acquiring empiric knowledge. The best learnability is a distinctive feature of people with the highest IFMA and the widest IABW.


Consequently a new and potentially useful protocol has been established to predict learnability, by EEG analysis, which may have applications in a wide variety of activities.

Authors’ Affiliations

Institute of Molecular Biology and Biophysics, Russian Federation
Institute of Physiology, Russian Federation


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  2. Klimesch W: EEG alpha and theta oscillations reflect cognitive and memory performance: A review and analysis. Brain Research Reviews. 1999, 29: 169-195. 10.1016/S0165-0173(98)00056-3.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Klimesch W, Doppelmayr M, Pachinger Th, Ripper B: Brain oscillations and human memory performance: EEG correlates in the upper alpha and theta bands. Neuroscience Letters. 1997, 238: 9-12. 10.1016/S0304-3940(97)00771-4.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar


© The Author(s) 2006