Background: The default-mode network (DMN) is characterised by coherent very low frequency (VLF) brain oscillations. The cognitive significance of this VLF profile remains unclear, partly because of the temporally constrained nature of the blood oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) signal. Previously we have identified a VLF EEG network of scalp locations that shares many features of the DMN. Here we explore the intracranial sources of VLF EEG and examine their overlap with the DMN in adults with high and low ADHD ratings.
Methodology/principal findings: DC-EEG was recorded using an equidistant 66 channel electrode montage in 25 adult participants with high- and 25 participants with low-ratings of ADHD symptoms during a rest condition and an attention demanding Eriksen task. VLF EEG power was calculated in the VLF band (0.02 to 0.2 Hz) for the rest and task condition and compared for high and low ADHD participants. sLORETA was used to identify brain sources associated with the attention-induced deactivation of VLF EEG power, and to examine these sources in relation to ADHD symptoms. There was significant deactivation of VLF EEG power between the rest and task condition for the whole sample. Using s-LORETA the sources of this deactivation were localised to medial prefrontal regions, posterior cingulate cortex/precuneus and temporal regions. However, deactivation sources were different for high and low ADHD groups: In the low ADHD group attention-induced VLF EEG deactivation was most significant in medial prefrontal regions while for the high ADHD group this deactivation was predominantly localised to the temporal lobes.
Conclusions/significance: Attention-induced VLF EEG deactivations have intracranial sources that appear to overlap with those of the DMN. Furthermore, these seem to be related to ADHD symptom status, with high ADHD adults failing to significantly deactivate medial prefrontal regions while at the same time showing significant attenuation of VLF EEG power in temporal lobes.