EEG theta/beta ratio in relation to fear-modulated response-inhibition, attentional control, and affective traits

Biol Psychol. 2010 Feb;83(2):73-8. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2009.10.008. Epub 2009 Nov 6.


Power density-ratios of fast and slow frequency spectrum-bands can be calculated from resting-state electroencephalography (EEG) recordings. A well-established phenomenon is that slow wave/fast wave ratios (SW/FW) are increased in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Several researchers have also begun to study relationships between SW/FW and affect. This work suggests that increased SW/FW may reflect reduced frontal cortical control over subcortical affective approach drive. The present study (n=28) aimed to further examine this notion by testing several predictions derived from it. In line with these predictions, SW/FW was found to correlate negatively with fearful modulation of response inhibition in an emotional go/no-go task and with self-reported attentional control. Results also suggested a positive relation between SW/FW and trait approach motivation and a negative relation to anxiety, as predicted. These results are consistent with previous studies and support the notion that SW/FW may provide a useful tool in the study of affect and emotion regulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affect*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / diagnosis
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / physiopathology*
  • Beta Rhythm*
  • Electroencephalography*
  • Facial Expression
  • Fear*
  • Female
  • Frontal Lobe / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Inhibition, Psychological*
  • Reaction Time
  • Self Efficacy
  • Social Control, Informal
  • Theta Rhythm*