Developmentally advanced EEG alpha power in gifted male and female adolescents

Joel E. Alexander, Michael W. O'Boyle, Camilla P. Benbow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


An electroencephalographic (EEG) study of gifted and average ability male and female adolescents, as well as college students of both sexes, was conducted to investigate further the relative contributions the left and right cerebral hemispheres during an eyes open (baseline) task in all groups. A total of 90 subjects had baseline EEG recorded in three groups with equal numbers of males and females: 30 gifted adolescents, 30 average ability adolescents, and 30 college-age subjects. Overall alpha power (8-12 Hz resting potential) was significantly greater in average ability subjects compared to both college-age and gifted adolescent subjects. Moreover, there were no significant differences in overall alpha power between college-age and gifted adolescent subjects. However, college-age and gifted adolescent subjects had different RH/LH patterns of activation such that at temporal and parietal locations college-age subjects had greater LH alpha power levels whereas gifted adolescents had greater RH alpha power. These findings suggest that gifted adolescents may have a developmentally enhanced state of brain activity, one that more closely resembles that of college-age adults to whom they also resemble in terms of cognitive development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-31
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Psychophysiology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 1996


  • EEG alpha power, advanced
  • Gifted adolescent


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