Center on Sentencing and Corrections

Changes in EEG alpha frequency and evoked response latency during solitary confinement

Changes in EEG alpha frequency and evoked response latency during solitary confinement

Gendreau, Paul, N. L. Freedman, G. J. Wilde, and G. D. Scott. “Changes in EEG alpha frequency and evoked response latency during solitary confinement.” Journal of Abnormal Psychology 79, no. 1 (1972): 54.

“One week of solitary confinement of prison inmates produced significant changes in their Electroencephalography (EEG) frequency and visual evoked potentials (VEP) that parallel those reported in laboratory studies of sensory deprivation. EEG frequency declined in a nonlinear manner over the period. VEP latency, which decreased with continued solitary confinement, was shorter for these 5s than for control 5s whose VEP latency did not change over the same period. Experimental 5s who had been in prison longer had shorter VEP latencies than relative newcomers to the prison.”

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Keywords: adolescent, adult, isolation, sensory deprivation, visual perception.