Abstract

By means of two-stage, nonlinear multivariate pattern recognition, electroencephalograms (EEG's) were analyzed during performance of verbal and spatial tasks. Complex scalp distributions of theta-, beta-, and, to a lesser extent, alpha-band spectral intensities discriminated between the two members of a pair of tasks, such as writing sentences and Koh's block design. Small EEG asymmetries were probably attributable to limb movements and other uncontrolled noncognitive aspects of tasks. Significant EEG differences beteeen cognitive tasks were eliminated when controls for inter-task differences in efferent activity, stimulus characteristics, and performance-related factors were introduced. Each controlled task was associated with an approximately 10 percent reduction, as compared with visual fixation, in the magnitude of alpha- and beta-band spectral intensity. This effect occurred bilaterally and was approximately the same over occipital, parietal, and central regions, with some minor difference over the frontal region in the beta band. With these controls, no evidence for lateralization of different cognitive functions was found in the EEG.