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Cross-Villasana, Fernando; Groepel, Peter; Ehrlenspiel, Felix; Beckmann, Jürgen (2018): Central theta amplitude as a negative correlate of performance proficiency in a dynamic visuospatial task. In: Biological Psychology, Vol. 132: pp. 37-44
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Dynamic visuospatial tasks, requiring continuous engagement of attention over long time periods, have been little studied with the electroencephalogram. Specifically, the role of the theta band in these tasks is unclear, with task-related theta enhancements improving performance in some studies, and hindering it in others. In this study, 30 participants performed the Pong videogame as a dynamic visuospatial task to analyze the influence of theta and alpha amplitude as well as alpha asymmetry on performance. The theta band increased significantly at central-parietal regions and correlated negatively with performance, especially at anterior regions. The alpha band showed a significant decrease, greater at right over left parietal regions, but neither the amplitude nor the asymmetry ratio correlated with performance. With theta being an indicator of top-down cognitive control, it may be concluded that proficient performance in dynamic visuospatial tasks depends on a bottom-up guidance of attention with little top-down intervention.