Eyes-Closed and Activation QEEG Databases in Predicting Cognitive Effectiveness and the Inefficiency Hypothesis


  • Kirtley E. Thornton
  • Dennis P. Carmody




Background. Quantitative electroencephalography (QEEG) databases have been developed for the eyes closed (EC) condition. The development of a cognitive activation database is a logical and necessary development for the field. Method. Brain activation was examined by QEEG during several tasks including EC rest, visual attention (VA), auditory attention (AA), listening to paragraphs presented auditorily and reading silently. The QEEG measures obtained in the EC and simple, non-cognitive attention task that were significantly related to subsequent cognitive performance were not the same variables which accounted for success during the cognitive task. Results. There were clear differences between relative power, microvolt, coherence and phase values across these different tasks. Conclusions. The conclusions reached are (1) the associations among QEEG variables are complex and vary by task; (2) the QEEG variables which predict cognitive performance under task demands are not the same as the variables which predict to subsequent performance from the EC or simple, non-cognitive attention tasks; (3) a cognitive activation database is clinically useful; and (4) an hypothesis of brain functioning is proposed to explain the findings. The coordinated allocation of resources (CAR) hypothesis states that cognitive effectiveness is a product of multiple specific activities in the brain, which vary according to the task; and (5) the average response pattern does not involve the variables that are critical to success at the task, thus indicating an inefficiency of the normal human brain.