Operant Control of Occipital Theta Rhythm Affects Performance in a Radar Monitoring Task

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Science  01 Mar 1974:
Vol. 183, Issue 4127, pp. 871-873
DOI: 10.1126/science.183.4127.871


Detection efficiency of human observers deteriorates rapidly in monotonous monitoring tasks; this effect (the vigilance decrement) has been associated with increased theta band activity in the electroencephalogram. Suppression of theta activity by operant methods enhances monitoring efficiency, whereas theta augmentation further degrades task performance. These results demonstrate a lawful relationship between operantly regulated cortical activity and behavior in man.

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