Peak Alpha Frequency in Relation to Cognitive Performance

J Neurosci Rural Pract. 2020 Jul;11(3):416-419. doi: 10.1055/s-0040-1712585. Epub 2020 Jun 12.


Objective Peak alpha frequency (PAF) is reported to be a nervous system property which is genetically endowed and reflected in individual's cognitive functioning. Cognitive performance denotes the mental processes for effective changes in response to situations in general and mental task in particular. None of the study has till now used reading comprehension as a measure of cognitive functioning, which is considered to be a measure of higher cognitive processes. The reading comprehension task used in the study implies certain cognitive processes such as reading ability, comprehension, memory performance involving information maintenance, and retrieval. Therefore, the study was conducted to test the hypothesis of differences in cognitive reading comprehension performance between high- and low-peak alpha subjects. Materials and Methods A group of 300 healthy participants were selected on the basis of incidental-cum-probabilistic sampling from seven districts of Indian state of Haryana. In the present study, reading comprehension task (Hindi-English; bilingual format) was used to assess the cognitive performance and multichannel electroencephalography alpha frequencies were recorded to measure PAF through power spectrum density analysis of each subject. Results The findings revealed that individuals with high-peak alpha frequency had significantly higher score ( p < 0.05) on reading comprehension task as compared with individuals with low PAF. Conclusion The present study concluded that the reading comprehension task is effected by peak alpha frequency of an individual. PAF can be considered to be a correlate of cognitive performance.

Keywords: cognitive performance; peak alpha frequency; power spectrum density; reading comprehension.

Grant support

Funding This work was supported by a grant awarded to Rajbir Singh from Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, [reference no. SR/CSRI/40/2014] under Cognitive Science Research Initiative (CSRI) program. This research was conducted at Maharishi Dayanand University, Rohtak.