Resting EEG Alpha and Asymmetry of Reflective Lateral Eye Movements

Abstract

A CONJUGATE lateral eye movement has been observed in humans in association with the shift from external to internal direction of attention1. When asked a question requiring reflexion (for example, mental arithmetic) an individual normally shifts his eyes either to the right or the left as he begins to reflect on an answer. It has been suggested that the direction of this lateral eye movement is related to a characteristic deployment of attention; left movers show a greater tendency to focus attention on internal subjective experiences, right movers show a greater tendency to external focus of attention2. It has been found that subjects who tend to move their eyes to the left are more likely to be hypnotizable3. Hypnotizability has also been shown to be related to amount of EEG alpha activity during an eyes-closed resting condition4,5. The relationship of both lateral direction of eye movements and amount of EEG alpha activity to hypnotizability seems to indicate the need for a study of the relationship between amount of resting EEG alpha activity and the direction of reflective lateral eye movements. This study was designed to test the hypothesis that the tendency to move the eyes to the left is associated with more EEG alpha activity than is the tendency to move the eyes to the right.

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BAKAN, P., SVORAD, D. Resting EEG Alpha and Asymmetry of Reflective Lateral Eye Movements. Nature 223, 975–976 (1969). https://doi.org/10.1038/223975a0

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