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Clin Neurophysiol. 2005 Apr;116(4):977-84. Epub 2004 Dec 10.

Age and gender effects in EEG coherence: II. Boys with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

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Brain & Behaviour Research Institute and Department of Psychology, University of Wollongong, Northfields Avenue, Wollongong NSW 2522, Australia.



This study investigated intra-hemispheric and inter-hemispheric EEG coherences as a function of age in boys with different subtypes of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD), in comparison with a control group of normal boys.


Three groups of 40 children (AD/HD combined type, AD/HD inattentive type, and normal controls) participated. Each group contained 8 males in each 1 year band from 8 to 12 years. EEG was recorded from 21 sites during an eyes-closed resting condition. Wave-shape coherence was calculated for 8 intra-hemispheric electrode pairs (4 in each hemisphere), and 8 inter-hemispheric electrode pairs, within each of the delta, theta, alpha and beta bands.


Developmental effects in intra-hemispheric coherences at shorter and longer inter-electrode distances generally supported Thatcher's two-compartment model. Control boys showed evidence of development in longer-range inter-hemispheric coherences which was not apparent in AD/HD boys. Boys with AD/HD of the combined type showed qualitatively different anomalies than boys with AD/HD of the inattentive type.


EEG coherences in normal boys of this age range develop systematically with age in a non-linear fashion. Boys with AD/HD do not show this development. They display coherence anomalies which differ in nature between DSM-IV subtypes, suggesting differences which are not relatable to simple symptom severity.


The data reported here indicate differences in the development of EEG coherences in boys with AD/HD, and point to differences between the AD/HD subtypes which may help understanding of the disorder.

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