Frontal EEG asymmetry and the behavioral activation and inhibition systems

James A. Coan, John J.B. Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

310 Scopus citations

Abstract

Two studies have examined whether there exists a relationship between resting frontal alpha asymmetry and the Behavioral Inhibition and Activation Scales (C. S. Carver & T. L. White, 1994), which are based on Gray's Behavioral Inhibition and Behavioral Activation Systems. Findings suggest that greater relative left frontal activity characterizes individuals higher in self-reported behavioral activation sensitivity (E. Harmon-Jones & J. J. B. Allen, 1997; S. K. Sutton & R. J. Davidson, 1997), and, in one instance, lower behavioral inhibition sensitivity (S. K. Sutton & R. J. Davidson, 1997). In the present study, relatively greater left frontal activity correlated positively with behavioral activation scores. No significant relationship between resting frontal alpha asymmetry and the behavioral inhibition score emerged. These data suggest that relatively greater left frontal activity is indeed an index of approach oriented, appetitive motivational tendencies, whereas the relationship between relative right frontal activity and the behavioral inhibition system is likely to be complex and not accounted for by behavioral withdrawal alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)106-114
Number of pages9
JournalPSYCHOPHYSIOLOGY
Volume40
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Biological Psychiatry

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