Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name





Education, Educational Psychology.




The present study examined and compared 40 Hz EEG activity in children with Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and children with specific Reading Disability (RD). EEG activity limited to the 40 Hz range, referred to as focused arousal, is reportedly a measure of facilitatory attention processes and a foundational skill for efficient memory. Overt psychological measures of memory and attention were also administered for purposes of external validation of the focused arousal construct and to provide further clarification of memory processes in ADHD and RD children. In total, 38 right handed male children between the ages of 7 years 10 months and 12 years 6 months participated in the present study. Forty Hz EEG activity was recorded separately over the left and right hemispheres during a verbal (sentence repetition) and a nonverbal visual-spatial (facial discrimination) task. Since task dependent differences in 40 Hz EEG activity did not occur, the data were collapsed across the verbal and nonverbal EEG tasks and a 2 x 3 repeated ANCOVA, using baseline recordings as a covariate, was completed. Children from both clinical groups were characterized by significantly less 40 Hz EEG activity when compared to non-clinical Control children (p $<$.01). The RD children exhibited less 40 Hz EEG activity specific to the left hemisphere (p $<$.05), while ADHD children exhibited less 40 Hz EEG activity over both the left and right hemispheres (p $<$.05). Marginal support was obtained for the external validation of the focused arousal construct. As anticipated, the RD children exhibited memory and attention deficits specific to tasks requiring the use of language skills, but not on tasks which involved the processing of nonverbal material. This latter finding was consistent with the RD children's deficit in 40 Hz EEG functioning specific to the left hemisphere. However, in contrast to the ADHD children's compromised 40 Hz EEG functioning, their performance on the memory and attention measures was equal to that of the Control group children. Methodological considerations and implications of the results obtained in the present study are addressed.Dept. of Psychology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1991 .S554. Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 53-01, Section: A, page: 0108. Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1991.