Eye closure causes widespread low-frequency power increase and focal gamma attenuation in the human electrocorticogram

Clin Neurophysiol. 2014 Sep;125(9):1764-73. doi: 10.1016/j.clinph.2014.01.021. Epub 2014 Feb 10.


Objective: We sought to characterize the effects of eye closure on EEG power using electrocorticography (ECoG). Specifically, we sought to elucidate the anatomical areas demonstrating an eye closure effect, and at which frequencies this effect occurs.

Methods: ECoG was recorded from 32 patients undergoing invasive monitoring for seizure focus localization. Patients were instructed to close and open their eyes repeatedly. ECoG power was compared in the epochs following eye closure and opening, for various frequency bands and brain regions.

Results: We found that at low frequencies, eye closure causes widespread power increases involving all lobes of the brain. This effect was significant not only in the α (8-12 Hz) band but in the δ (2-4 Hz), θ (4-8 Hz), and β (15-30 Hz) bands as well. At high frequencies, eye closure causes comparatively focal power decreases over occipital cortex and frontal Brodmann areas 8 and 9.

Conclusions: Eye closure (1) affects a broad range of frequencies outside the α band and (2) involves a distributed network of neural activity in anatomical areas outside visual cortex.

Significance: This study constitutes the first large-scale, systematic application of ECoG to study eye closure, which is shown to influence a broad range of frequencies and brain regions.

Keywords: Alpha; ECoG; Event-related synchronization; Eye closure; Frontal eye fields; Gamma; High frequency activity; Intracranial EEG.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alpha Rhythm
  • Beta Rhythm
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiopathology
  • Delta Rhythm
  • Electroencephalography*
  • Female
  • Gamma Rhythm*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nerve Net / physiopathology
  • Ocular Physiological Phenomena*
  • Seizures / physiopathology*
  • Theta Rhythm
  • Young Adult