Date of Award

1994

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Dominic Valentino

Abstract

In the University of Rhode Island's psychophysiology laboratory we are constructing a quantitative neuropsychological test that could be used in the assessment of human brain dysfunction. To this end we have collected the quantified electroencephalogram (QEEG) of 102 participants while they performed an eyes-closed, auditory, continuous performance test (CPT). Using the principal component procedure and 40 QEEG variables, Weiler (1993) and Arruda et al., (1994) derived two measurement models; suggesting the existence of seven to eight neurocognitive systems, including a theoretically meaningful right hemisphere, "Attention" component that appears fundamental to the brain's performance of a vigilance/attention task. The present study sought to confirm the existence (construct-related validity) of the seven and the eight component measurement models using an independent sample of 106 participants and the confirmatory factor analysis procedure. The results of this study confirmed the existence of a reduced seven component measurement model, strongly suggesting the existence of five neurocognitive brain systems, including the right hemisphere attention system referred to above. Component scores were then derived for each of the five component measures using the QEEG obtained from a subsample of participants while they performed a 23 minute CPT (i.e., attention task). The results of this study suggest that the right hemisphere beta wave component is a measure of a right hemisphere attention system. Changes in task demands were associated with varying levels of both the right hemisphere beta component and attention, as defined by behavioral performance. To the author's knowledge, the five component measurement model represents the first successful confirmation of a QEEG measurement model (i.e., component/factor structure) using an independent sample.

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