Beta brain waves as an index of alertness

Science. 1962 Aug 17;137(3529):533-4. doi: 10.1126/science.137.3529.533.


Reaction times of human subjects are reliably shorter when the signal to respond is given during spontaneous low voltage, fast (beta) brain waves than they are when the signal is given during spontaneous alpha waves. The mean difference of 12 milliseconds is, however, trivial in comparison to the advantage to be expected from forewarning.

MeSH terms

  • Attention*
  • Brain Waves*
  • Electroencephalography*
  • Humans
  • Reaction Time*