Gender modulates the development of theta event related oscillations in adolescents and young adults

Behav Brain Res. 2015 Oct 1:292:342-52. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2015.06.020. Epub 2015 Jun 20.


The developmental trajectories of theta band (4-7 Hz) event-related oscillations (EROs), a key neurophysiological constituent of the P3 response, were assessed in 2170 adolescents and young adults ages 12 to 25. The theta EROs occurring in the P3 response, important indicators of neurocognitive function, were elicited during the evaluation of task-relevant target stimuli in visual and auditory oddball tasks. These tasks call upon attentional and working memory resources. Large differences in developmental rates between males and females were found; scalp location and task modality (visual or auditory) differences within males and females were small compared to gender differences. Trajectories of interregional and intermodal correlations between ERO power values exhibited increases with age in both genders, but showed a divergence in development between auditory and visual systems during ages 16 to 21. These results are consistent with previous electrophysiological and imaging studies and provide additional temporal detail about the development of neurophysiological indices of cognitive activity. Since measures of the P3 response has been found to be a useful endophenotypes for the study of a number of clinical and behavioral disorders, studies of its development in adolescents and young adults may illuminate neurophysiological factors contributing to the onset of these conditions.

Keywords: Adolescent; Development; ERO; P3.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation / methods
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alcoholism / physiopathology*
  • Attention / physiology
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Child
  • Electroencephalography / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sex Characteristics*
  • Theta Rhythm / physiology
  • Young Adult