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Supplementary Material for: Test-Retest Reliability of Frontal and Parietal Alpha Asymmetry during Presentation of Emotional Face Stimuli in Healthy Subjects

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posted on 17.03.2020, 08:50 by Koller-Schlaud K., Querbach J., Behr J., Ströhle A., Rentzsch J.
Resting-state and event-related frontal alpha asymmetry have been suggested as potential neurobiological biomarkers for depression and other psychiatric conditions. To be used as such, sufficient test-retest reliability needs to be demonstrated. However, test-retest reliability is underinvestigated for event-related alpha asymmetry. The objective of this study was to examine both short-term within-session and long-term between-session reliability of stimulus-related medial and lateral frontal as well as parietal alpha EEG asymmetry in healthy subjects during a simple emotional face processing task. Twenty-three healthy adults participated in two sessions with a test-retest interval of about 1 week. Reliability was estimated with Pearson’s correlation coefficient and paired t test. Results revealed moderate to high within-session reliability of stimulus-related alpha asymmetry for all electrode sites and both conditions. Alpha asymmetry mean values did not change significantly within sessions. Between-session reliability was fair for frontomedial and moderate for frontolateral stimulus-related asymmetry. Exploratory exclusion of subjects with unstable between-session self-rating scores of emotional state and empathy toward stimuli resulted in some higher reliability values. Our results indicate that stimulus-related alpha asymmetry may serve as a useful electrophysiological tool given its adequate within-session reliability. However, long-term stability of stimulus-related frontal alpha asymmetry over 1 week was comparatively low and varied depending on electrode position. Influencing state factors during EEG recording, such as current mood or stimulus engagement, should be considered in future study designs and analyses. Further, we recommend to analyze alpha asymmetry from both frontomedial and frontolateral sites.