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Clinical EEG & Neuroscience Journal

Journal of Clinical EEG & Neuroscience, January, 2009

Substance Use Underlying Behavior: Investigation of Theta and High Frequency Oscillations in Emotionally Relevant Situations

G. G. Knyazev and J. Y. Slobodskoy-Plusninr


High sensitivity of the Behavioral Approach System (BAS) was shown to be one of the strongest predictors of substance use (SU). It was hypothesized that individuals with high BAS sensitivity would experience higher emotional arousal in the reward expectancy situation and lower in the punishment expectancy situation than individuals with low BAS activity. The level of emotional arousal indicated by theta spectral power, and general cortical excitability indicated by high frequency oscillations (HFO), were measured in a sample of young people who filled out Carver and White’s Behavioral Inhibition System/Behavioral Approach System (BIS/BAS) scales. Frontal theta and HFO increased in high BAS scorers during expectation of reward and decreased during expectation of punishment. In low BAS scorers spectral powers of theta and HFO increased, contrary to those for the punishment cue, and decreased for reward cue. Theta-gamma coupling increased in high Drive scorers (those above the median) in reward and in low Drive scorers (those who appeared to be below the median split on this scale) in punishment situation.

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