On the application of Quantitative EEG for characterizing autistic brain: A systematic review

Lucia Billeci, Federico Sicca, Koushik Maharatna, Fabio Apicella, Antonio Narzisi, Giulia Campatelli, Sara Calderoni, Giovanni Pioggia, Filippo Muratori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are thought to be associated with abnormalities in neural connectivity at both the global and local levels. Quantitative electroencephalography (QEEG) is a non-invasive technique that allows a highly precise measurement of brain function and connectivity. This review encompasses the key findings of QEEG application in subjects with ASD, in order to assess the relevance of this approach in characterizing brain function and clustering phenotypes. QEEG studies evaluating both the spontaneous brain activity and brain signals under controlled experimental stimuli were examined. Despite conflicting results, literature analysis suggests that QEEG features are sensitive to modification in neuronal regulation dysfunction which characterize autistic brain. QEEG may therefore help in detecting regions of altered brain function and connectivity abnormalities, in linking behavior with brain activity, and subgrouping affected individuals within the wide heterogeneity of ASD. The use of advanced techniques for the increase of the specificity and of spatial localization could allow finding distinctive patterns of QEEG abnormalities in ASD subjects, paving the way for the development of tailored intervention strategies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalFrontiers in Human Neuroscience
Issue numberJUL
Publication statusPublished - Jul 18 2013


  • Asymmetry
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
  • Coherence
  • Nonlinear techniques
  • Quantitative electroencephalography (QEEG)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Neurology
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology


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