Event Abstract

Resting EEG Sex Differences

  • 1 University of Wollongong, School of Psychology, Australia

Aims: Previous literature investigating sex differences in the topography of resting electroencephalography (EEG) in a young adult population is conflicting. Furthermore, differences in eyes-closed (EC) and eyes-open (EO) measures, between females and males, have not been investigated comprehensively. The present study aims to confirm EC and reactivity (EO-EC) topography across groups, to clarify the topographical differences between sexes, and to confirm alpha is a good candidate measure of arousal. Method: Participants were 80 university students (40 female/40 male) with a mean age of 20.4 years (range 18–26). Participants were matched individually on age, and were all right-handed. Continuous EEG activity was recorded from 30 scalp sites, and EOG corrected. Data from each 2-minute condition (EO1, EC, EO2) were divided into 60 sequential 2 second epochs. Accepted epochs were Fast Fourier Transformed and absolute amplitudes in each EEG band were calculated. Results: For EC, significant topographical effects were found across groups and bands, in the parietal and midline regions. Significant effects in the reactivity measure were found in the parietal region across the four bands. Between sexes, overall EC activity in the delta, alpha and beta bands was significant for females, with larger parietal enhancements for females than males across the four bands. Reactivity was more evident parietally for females than males only in the alpha and beta bands. The change at each electrode in alpha amplitude from EC to EO was proportional to the resting EC amplitude. Conclusions: Across groups, EC band topographies were mostly comparable with the previous literature. Furthermore, sex and topographical differences were evident in the EC and reactivity measures. Additionally, alpha was found to be a good measure of arousal. These findings suggest females are less aroused, but more responsive, than males. Future EEG research should consider sex as a potential confounding variable.

Keywords: sex differences, Eyes-closed (EC), Eyes-open (EO), reactivity, EEG bands, Arousal

Conference: ASP2016 - The 26th Annual Meeting of the Australasian Society for Psychophysiology, Adelaide Australia, Adelaide,SA, Australia, 12 Dec - 14 Dec, 2016.

Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

Topic: Abstract (student award)

Citation: Cave AE and Barry RJ (2016). Resting EEG Sex Differences. Conference Abstract: ASP2016 - The 26th Annual Meeting of the Australasian Society for Psychophysiology, Adelaide Australia. doi: 10.3389/conf.fnhum.2016.221.00029

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Received: 10 Oct 2016; Published Online: 05 Dec 2016.

* Correspondence: Mrs. Adele E Cave, University of Wollongong, School of Psychology, Wollongong, NSW, 2500, Australia, A.Cave@westernsydney.edu.au