Universiteit Leiden

nl en

PhD defence

EEG Theta/Beta Ratio A marker of executive control and its relation with anxiety-linked attentional bias for threat

Wednesday 24 April 2019
Academy Building
Rapenburg 73
2311 GJ Leiden


The ratio between frontal resting state EEG power in the theta and beta frequency bands (theta/beta ratio, TBR) was first associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and later linked to various psychological functions and cognitive/emotional processes that rely on executive cognitive control.

The aim of this thesis was to further investigate TBR as a potentially useful marker for executive/attentional control, particularly when studying threat selective attention and uncontrolled thoughts.

It was found that high TBR was associated with more attention to mild than high threat and low threat-interference in visual-spatial tasks containing emotional information. TBR was also negatively related to self-reported attentional control. Frontal TBR was moreover significantly higher during uncontrolled thought compared to controlled thought and this effect was also found for functional connectivity of the ‘executive control network’, which was also correlated to the controlled versus uncontrolled thought effect on TBR.

However, no evidence was found to suggest that TBR can be manipulated using Neurofeedback training. These findings provide clear indications of the neuropsychological functional nature of TBR and further support the notion that TBR reflects connectivity in brain networks involved in executive control processes.


  • Prof. A.J.W. van der Does


PhD defences are free; you do not have to register.

PhD dissertations

PhD dissertations by Leiden PhD students are available digitally after the defence through the Leiden Repository, that offers free access to these PhD dissertations. Please note that in some cases a dissertation may be under embargo temporarily and access to its full-text version will only be granted later.

Press contact

Maarten Muns, Scientific Communications Adviser, Leiden University
+31 71 527 3282

This website uses cookies.  More information.