Cerebral electromagnetic activity in the subdelta range

by Rodin E, Funke M.


The frequency range between 0.1 and 0.9 Hz was investigated with magnetoelectroencephalography-EEG coregistration in 10 adult patients with epilepsy and five children with other neurologic conditions. In all instances, a dominant rhythm between 0.2 and 0.4 Hz could be observed in the waking and sleeping states. It showed a waxing and waning quality and was unrelated to eye opening or closing but increased in amplitude during sleep. The maximum was usually in the occipital areas but occasionally in the frontal regions. The rhythm was more persistent and better seen in the magnetoelectroencephalogram, but subdelta activity was also discernible in the EEG. The magnetoelectroencephalographic rhythmicity and frequency suggested possible respiration artifact. Two normal control subjects were therefore investigated by electroencephalography while respirations were monitored. A clear relation to respiration was established. It persisted during breath-holding, albeit at lower amplitude. Larger amplitude transients occurred before and at the cessation of breath-holding as well as hyperventilation. An observed frequency increase before voluntary hyperventilation suggests a relation to the readiness potential and event-related desynchronization as well as synchronization. Subdelta frequencies, which can be readily recorded without special DC amplifiers, provide additional information for clinical as well as research data. They may also be an interface between autonomic and voluntary functions, especially in regard to respiration.

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