EEG activity in children with Asperger’s Syndrome
Objective This study investigated differences in the EEG power and coherence of children with Asperger’s Syndrome. Method Twenty boys with Asperger’s Syndrome, aged 7–12 years, and an age and sex matched control group, participated in this study. The EEG was recorded during an eyes-closed resting condition from 19 electrode sites, which were clustered into nine regions prior to analysis. One minute of trace was analysed using Fourier transformations to obtain both absolute and relative power estimates in the delta, theta, alpha and beta frequency bands. Wave-shape coherence was calculated for 8 intrahemispheric and 8 interhemispheric electrode pairs. Results The Asperger’s group had a global increase in absolute delta and an anterior increase in relative delta. Both absolute and relative theta were globally increased and relative alpha was globally decreased. Subjects with Asperger’s Syndrome exhibited a broad pattern of reduced hemispheric asymmetry in intrahemispheric coherence. Reduced anterior interhemispheric coherence in the alpha and beta bands was also found in the Asperger’s Syndrome group. Conclusions These results suggest the existence of frontal lobe abnormalities in children with Asperger’s Syndrome, and possible abnormalities in normal CNS maturational processes. Significance This is the first major study to investigate EEG power and coherence anomalies in children with Asperger’s Syndrome.