Clinical utility of EEG in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

Appl Neuropsychol. 2005;12(2):64-76. doi: 10.1207/s15324826an1202_2.


Electrophysiological measures were among the first to be used to study brain processes in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD; Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders [4th ed.], American Psychiatric Association, 1994) and have been used as such for over 30 years (see Hastings & Barkley, 1978, for an early review). More recently, electroencephalography (EEG) has been used both in research to describe and quantify the underlying neurophysiology of ADHD, but also clinically in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of ADHD. This review will first provide a brief overview of EEG and then present some of the research findings of EEG correlates in ADHD. Then, the utility of EEG in making an ADHD diagnosis and predicting stimulant response will be examined. Finally, and more controversially, we will review the results of the most recent studies on EEG biofeedback (neurofeedback) as a treatment for ADHD and the issues that remain to be addressed in the research examining the efficacy this therapeutic approach.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / complications
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / diagnosis*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / drug therapy
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / psychology
  • Biofeedback, Psychology
  • Child
  • Electroencephalography*
  • Humans
  • Reference Values