Effects of the Nootropic Compound Alpha BRAIN on ERP and EEG Measures of Cognitive Performance

Alpha BRAIN (AB) is a nootropic supplement that purports to enhance cognitive functioning.

Several of the naturally occurring compounds in AB have cholinesterase inhibiting properties and could prove beneficial in individuals with subjective memory complains or objective cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer’s disease or other cognitive disorders.

This study investigated the effects of AB on ERP and EEG cognitive measures in healthy adults.


Twenty subjects between 18 and 35 years were recruited into the ERP/EEG study from a larger study participating in an eight-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo
controlled trial of AB.

All subjects were administered an EEG/ERP test at baseline, after acute treatment, and at the end of the study using an integrated hardware/software system for data collection and analysis. The testing protocol consisted of a two-deviant auditory oddball paradigm followed by 3min of resting EEG.


Statistical analysis revealed a significant decrease in P3a and P3b latency in the AB! group compared to placebo.

Post-hoc analyses showed a significantly shorter latency for both measures after acute administration of AB!, suggesting increased attention and classification speed in this group of subjects.

Moreover, ANOVA with repeated measures showed a significant effect of treatment on P3a amplitude over time, suggesting a positive effect of AB on executive function.

While statistical comparisons for P3b amplitude showed no significant effects, a sub analysis limite to the frontal electrodes showed a significant increase in P3b amplitude in the treatment group, suggesting an increase in amount of attentional resources allocated to the stimulus after AB.

Finally,comparison of Peak Alpha Frequency (PAF) in Placebo vs. AB groups showed a significant increase in PAF after repeated treatment administration.

This EEG measure is directly correlated with processing speed and performance in a number of cognitive tasks, and it has been found to decrease with age.


While preliminary, subjects randomized to the AB group demonstrated beneficial effects on cognitive performance in both ERP and EEG tests.

Effects of AB on ERP/EEG appear similar to other cholinesterase inhibiting compounds that are used in patients with cognitive dysfunction due to Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive disorders.

Author: Onnit Research Team

The Onnit Research Team is comprised of medical professionals, researchers, and scientists interested in providing data-driven, actionable information.