Open Access Research article

Narrow band quantitative and multivariate electroencephalogram analysis of peri-adolescent period

EI Rodríguez Martinez1, CI Barriga-Paulino1, MI Zapata1, C Chinchilla1, AM López-Jiménez2 and CM Gómez1*

Author Affiliations

1 Human Psychobiology Lab, Experimental Psychology Deparment, University of Sevilla, Seville, Spain

2 Behavioral Methodology Lab, Experimental Psychology Deparment, University of Sevilla, Seville, Spain

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BMC Neuroscience 2012, 13:104  doi:10.1186/1471-2202-13-104

Published: 24 August 2012



The peri-adolescent period is a crucial developmental moment of transition from childhood to emergent adulthood. The present report analyses the differences in Power Spectrum (PS) of the Electroencephalogram (EEG) between late childhood (24 children between 8 and 13 years old) and young adulthood (24 young adults between 18 and 23 years old).


The narrow band analysis of the Electroencephalogram was computed in the frequency range of 0–20 Hz. The analysis of mean and variance suggested that six frequency ranges presented a different rate of maturation at these ages, namely: low delta, delta-theta, low alpha, high alpha, low beta and high beta. For most of these bands the maturation seems to occur later in anterior sites than posterior sites. Correlational analysis showed a lower pattern of correlation between different frequencies in children than in young adults, suggesting a certain asynchrony in the maturation of different rhythms. The topographical analysis revealed similar topographies of the different rhythms in children and young adults. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) demonstrated the same internal structure for the Electroencephalogram of both age groups. Principal Component Analysis allowed to separate four subcomponents in the alpha range. All these subcomponents peaked at a lower frequency in children than in young adults.


The present approaches complement and solve some of the incertitudes when the classical brain broad rhythm analysis is applied. Children have a higher absolute power than young adults for frequency ranges between 0-20 Hz, the correlation of Power Spectrum (PS) with age and the variance age comparison showed that there are six ranges of frequencies that can distinguish the level of EEG maturation in children and adults. The establishment of maturational order of different frequencies and its possible maturational interdependence would require a complete series including all the different ages.

Spontaneous EEG; EEG development; Adolescence; Brain rhythms; Power spectrum; Principal component analysis; Component analysis