Intrinsic EEG and task-related changes in EEG affect Go/NoGo task performance
Substantial research into the brain dynamics underlying cognitive functioning during tasks links the brain's EEG activity to the stimulus-evoked ERP activity. This study focused on examining how the resting state intrinsic EEG, and the change from rest to the task, affect these stimulus-response processes. Forty young adults (aged 20.3 ± 2.3 years) had EEG recorded during eyes-closed (EC) and eyes-open (EO) resting states, and then during an auditory Go/NoGo task. Amplitude in the delta to beta bands was analyzed for the overall resting state EEG, the reactive change from EC to EO, and for the change from EO to the task (termed task-related change here). The relationships between these EEG measures and Go/NoGo behavioral outcomes and ERPs were assessed. Greater resting state delta and theta amplitudes were linked to Go N1-1 enhancements, but only resting state delta correlated with the NoGo N1-1. These relationships replicate previous data and highlight the functional relevance of low frequency intrinsic activity in attentional processes. However, delta increases from EO to the task predicted poorer Go response accuracy and variability, and enhanced Go Slow Wave (SW) positivity. This increase in delta, and smaller alpha-1 increments, were associated with longer mean RTs. Theta increases predicted larger Go N1-1 amplitudes, but lower NoGo accuracy rates, while beta-1 increments were predictive of NoGo SW negativity. These novel effects suggest that task-related EEG changes impact decision-making and cognitive control processes, and subsequent behavioral performance.