EEG alpha activity and personality traits

Tamara L. Wall, Marc A. Schuckit, Dan M Mungas, Cindy L. Ehlers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Comparisons between EEG spectral power in the fast alpha (9-12 Hz) range and scores obtained on the Millon Clinical Personality Inventory (MCMI) were made in two populations of subjects. The first was a group of 60 individuals who reported no personal or family history of alcoholism. The second was a subgroup of 13 sons of alcoholics and 13 matched control subjects. In the first population, 30% of the subjects were classified as "high" alpha based on the criteria that their EEG in the 9-12 Hz range was over 75 μV2/octave in amplitude. Using this same criteria, 69% of the sons of alcoholics and 31% of their matched controls were also classified as "high" alpha. In both populations, subjects with high amplitude fast frequency EEG alpha activity in lead P4-O2 scored significantly higher on the Histrionic-Gregarious scale of the MCMI than subjects with low amplitude activity in this lead. These results are consistent with some previous studies showing a positive relationship between EEG alpha activity and extroverted personality traits. These results suggest that fast frequency alpha activity may be associated with some definable personality traits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)461-464
Number of pages4
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1990


  • Alcoholism
  • Alpha
  • EEG
  • MCMI
  • Personality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Medicine(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Toxicology
  • Health(social science)


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