Date of Award

6-1985

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Psychology

Major Professor

Joel F. Lubar

Abstract

The purpose of this research was to assess the feasibility of altering EEG activity in a manner which could enhance academic functioning for learning disabled (LD) students. The treatment group included four LD Caucasian males, ages 9-13. Results of treatment were measured by pre and post neuropsychological and psychoeducational evaluations, and spectral analysis EEG under three conditions: baseline, reading, and drawing. Training occurred over 31 sessions, twice weekly, utilizing EEG biofeedback. Electrodes were placed in positions T5-F7 or TG-Fa (International 10-20 System) for alternating sessions. Enhanced 8-15 Hz activity concurrent with reduced 3-7 Hz and muscle activity (>23 Hz) were targeted as desired effects.

Compared to Normal and LD Controls, statistically significant improvement was found with the LD Treatment group in reading comprehension and on the Bender Gestalt drawings. No other significant results were found among the neuropsychological or psychoeducational pre and posttesting, while a general improvement trend was noted for those treated. For the treatment group compared with controls the pre and posttreatment spectral EEGs revealed increased power in the 12-24 Hz range in left temporal and frontal areas during baseline and increased percentage power in higher frequencies for the left central and occipital areas while the children were drawing. During the reading condition, no significant differences were found for the treatment group. Biofeedback sessions were divided into three segments, prebaseline, treatment, and postbaseline. The data indicate that desired results during treatment occurred in 3 of 4 EEG frequency ranges.

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