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EEG Research related to Health

With regard to the research theme HEALTH, currently, there are indications that Mindfulness training schemes may improve personal well-being, for example by reducing the intensity of perceived pain in chronic pain patients. With EEG, there is the possibility to have an objective measure of possible changes in the processing of pain (1,2,3), and in a recent study we tried to gain support for the view that Mindfulness training changes attentional strategies that reduce the influence of pain (4). After stroke, an often employed method to facilitate rehabilitation of patients with motoric problems is the employment of motor imagery techniques. The understanding of what actually happens when people carry out these imaginary movements is still quite limited, but it is obvious that EEG can provide a crucial window on changes that occur during motor imagery (5). Another relevant research topic within HEALTH concerns the influence of aging. There are obvious changes in cognition due to aging, but many aspects are still unclear. Again, EEG enables a view on changes in neural representations and can for example provide insight in changes in especially the prefrontal cortex, which appears to be one of the brain structures that is first affected by aging and relates to important cognitive functions like working memory, executive control, and the ability to inhibit inappropriate actions. Furthermore, EEG might possibly be useful in predicting whether mild cognitive impairement (MCI) will turn into a severe form of dementia.  

  1. Blom, J.H.G., Wiering, C.H., & Van der Lubbe, R.H.J. (2012). Distraction reduces both early and late electrocutaneous stimulus evoked potentials. Journal of Psychophysiology, 26, 168-177. DOI:10.1027/0269-8803/a000079
  2. Van der Lubbe, R.H.J., Buitenweg, J.R., Boschker, M., Gerdes, B., & Jongsma, M.L.A. (2012). The influence of transient spatial attention on the processing of intracutaneous electrical stimuli examined with ERPs. Clinical Neurophysiology, 123, 947-959. DOI: 10.1016/j.clinph.2011.08.034
  3. Van der Lubbe, R.H.J., Blom, J.H.G., De Kleine, E., & Bohlmeijer, E.T. (2017). Comparing the effects of sustained and transient spatial attention on the orienting towards and the processing of electrical nociceptive stimuli. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 112, 9-21. DOI:10.1016/j-ijpsycho.2016.11.015
  4. Van der Lubbe, R.H.J., De Kleine, E., Schreurs, K., & Bohlmeijer, E.T. (2018). Does mindfulness training modulate the influence of spatial attention on the processing of intracutaneous electrical stimuli? PLoSONE 13, e0201689. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0201689
  5. Van der Lubbe, R.H.J., Sobierajewicz, J., Jongsma, M.L.A., Verwey, W.B., & Przekoracka-Krawczyk, A. (2021). Frontal brain areas are more involved during motor imagery than during motor execution/preparation of a response sequence. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 164, 71-86. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2021.02.020