Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Joel F. Lubar

Committee Members

Eric Sundstrom, Richard Saudargas, Michael Sims


According to previous research, different regions of the brain are activated when a person is required to use different types of attention like selective, alternating, focused, sustained and divided attention. The frontal, prefrontal and parietal areas especially in the right hemisphere, seem to be the most frequently activated areas. Little research has addressed differences in the electroencephalogram (EEG) between traumatic brain injured (TBI) patients, with different types of attentional deficits because of their injury, and normal population. This study focuses on differences in magnitude in five brain regions between TBI patients and normal population, during recording of one cognitive task (ADT task) and the after tasks eyes-open baseline (EO2). All matched controls’ psychometrics, and eyes-closed EEG are representative of an average person without neurological deficits.

Four frequencies are examined. The attention skills of the experimental (TBI) and matched for age and gender control individuals are assessed through a variety of psychometrics as well as through scaled self-reports. Their EEG is recorded during eyes- open, eyes-closed, six cognitive tasks (taken from the software program Captain’s Log), and a second eyes-open baseline. The EEG of one out of the six cognitive tasks is statistically examined as well as the second baseline. Only one task is statistically analyzed, an auditory task, discriminating types of melody. It is hypothesized that the topography, frequencies and direction of significant changes from task (ADT) minus first resting baseline (EO1) will be different between the clinical and the matched control individuals. The same hypothesis, that there will be differences between control and clinical cases, holds also for the second eyes-open baseline minus the first baseline comparison. A third hypothesis is that, there will be consistent EEG patterns, depending on the type of attention deficit. All hypotheses are supported. Low alpha and low beta in frontal and right posterior areas constitute the frequencies and brain regions respectively, which show the consistent EEG patterns for each type of attention deficit.

The EEG results of this study will serve as a diagnostic tool for each type of attention deficit. It is possible that the different types of attention deficit are not easily shown through an eyes-open or an eyes-closed recording but during recording of cognitive tasks or in the after tasks (second eyes-open baseline) recording.

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