In this paper, we reviewed all existing studies using electroencephalography (EEG) in infants and children with known prenatal exposure to alcohol (PEA). The guiding purposes of the review were to determine if (1) EEG is a useful neuroimaging technique for investigating the brain correlates of PEA in infants and children, (2) there are indeed consistent EEG correlates of PEA in literature, and (3) these EEG correlates can be framed within a coherent picture of emerging implications for the study of PEA and its effects. The review confirms that EEG techniques have proven useful in indicating evidence of differential effects of patterns of PEA and timing in early fetal development and impairment of brain maturation in older children. In general, these techniques could be important in functional assessment of the brain of children affected by PEA, especially if used in conjunction with other neuroimaging techniques. The reviewed studies also suggest that although the impact on sensory and cognitive functions may involve extensive neural networks, there are EEG correlates of PEA which may in the future lead to the identification of neurophysiologic markers. A consistent aspect that emerges from the EEG data is that converging evidence from the study of different systems and processes suggests that PEA may almost invariably have consequences for later neurocognitive development.

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Department of Neuroscience

D'Angiulli, A, Grunau, P. (Peter), Maggi, S, & Herdman, A. (Anthony). (2006). Electroencephalographic correlates of prenatal exposure to alcohol in infants and children: a review of findings and implications for neurocognitive development. Alcohol (Vol. 40, pp. 127–133). doi:10.1016/j.alcohol.2006.09.031