Recording systems to acquire electroencephalogram (EEG) data are traditionally lab-based. However, there are shortcomings to this method, and the ease of use and portability of emerging wireless EEG technologies offer a promising alternative. A previous validity study demonstrated data derived from a single-channel, wireless system (NeuroSky ThinkGear, San Jose, California) is comparable to EEG recorded from conventional lab-based equipment. The current study evaluated the reliability of this portable system using test-retest and reliable change analyses. Relative power (RP) of delta, theta, alpha, and beta frequency bands was derived from EEG data obtained from a single electrode over FP1 in 19 healthy youth (10–17 years old), 21 healthy adults (18–28 years old), and 19 healthy older adults (55–79 years old), during eyes-open, eyes-closed, auditory oddball, and visual n-back conditions. Intra-class correlations (ICCs) and Coefficients of Repeatability (CRs) were calculated from RP data re-collected one-day, one-week, and one-month later. Participants' levels of mood and attention were consistent across sessions. Eyes-closed resting EEG measurements using the portable device were reproducible (ICCs 0.76–0.85) at short and longer retest intervals in all three participant age groups. While still of at least fair reliability (ICCs 0.57–0.85), EEG obtained during eyes-open paradigms was less stable, and any change observed over time during these testing conditions can be interpreted utilizing the CR values provided. Combined with existing validity data, these findings encourage application of the portable EEG system for the study of brain function.
- NeuroSky ThinkGear
- Test-retest reliability