November 1983

Hyperactive Children's Event-Related Potentials Fail to Support Underarousal and Maturational-Lag Theories

Author Affiliations

From the Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute, University of California San Francisco Medical Center.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1983;40(11):1243-1248. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1983.01790100089012

• Hyperactivity in children has been attributed to underarousal, maturational lag, and both. Using event-related potentials (ERPs) and EEG spectra, we compared hyperactive children with age-matched normal controls. Neither underarousal nor maturational lag explained our findings, and we concluded that these explanations are now too simple to be useful. We found a number of differences in EEGs and ERPs between hyperactive subjects and controls. The best single measure was EEG power from 14 to 25 Hz, which was consistent with previous reports. Hyperactive children had lower beta power than normal controls.