Development of the Alpha Rhythm Is Linked to Visual White Matter Pathways and Visual Detection Performance

Sendy Caffarra, Klint Kanopka, John Kruper, Adam Richie-Halford, Ethan Roy, Ariel Rokem, Jason D. Yeatman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Alpha is the strongest electrophysiological rhythm in awake humans at rest. Despite its predominance in the EEG signal, large variations can be observed in alpha properties during development, with an increase in alpha frequency over childhood and adulthood. Here, we tested the hypothesis that these changes in alpha rhythm are related to the maturation of visual white matter pathways. We capitalized on a large diffusion MRI (dMRI)-EEG dataset (dMRI n = 2,747, EEG n = 2,561) of children and adolescents of either sex (age range, 5–21 years old) and showed that maturation of the optic radiation specifically accounts for developmental changes of alpha frequency. Behavioral analyses also confirmed that variations of alpha frequency are related to maturational changes in visual perception. The present findings demonstrate the close link between developmental variations in white matter tissue properties, electrophysiological responses, and behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0684232023
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number6
StatePublished - Feb 7 2024


  • EEG
  • alpha
  • dMRI
  • development
  • vision

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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