Electroencephalogram (EEG) alpha power has been
demonstrated to be inversely related to mental activity
and has subsequently been used as an indirect measure of
brain activation. The thalamus has been proposed as an
important site for modulation of rhythmic alpha activity.
Studies in animals have suggested that cortical alpha rhythms
are correlated with alpha rhythms in the thalamus. However,
little empirical evidence exists for this relation in humans.
In the current study, resting EEG and a fluorodeoxyglucose
positron emission tomography scan were measured during
the same experimental session. Over a 30-min period, average
EEG alpha power across 28 electrodes from 27 participants
was robustly inversely correlated with glucose metabolic
activity in the thalamus. These data provide the first
evidence for a relation between alpha EEG power and thalamic
activity in humans.