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Alpha Rhythms

  1. Trond Sand

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0039

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Sand, T. 2010. Alpha Rhythms. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.

Author Information

  1. Norwegian University of Science, Technology and Trondheim University Hospital, Norway

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Ensembles of synchronously active cortical neurons generate electromagnetic field potentials that can be measured by electroencephalography (EEG) or magnetoencephalography (MEG). The alpha frequency band is defined to be between 8 and 13 Hz (Berger, 1929). The classical alpha rhythm is prominent at electrodes overlying the occipital (visual) cortex and to a lesser extent over the posterior temporal and parietal areas. Alpha rhythm occurs in a condition of relaxed wakefulness with eyes closed. The alpha rhythm disappears gradually during drowsiness, and different types of alpha activity appear in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.


  • EEG;
  • MEG;
  • brain mapping;
  • alpha rhythm;
  • brain oscillation;
  • brain waves;
  • ERD