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Approach-related left prefrontal EEG asymmetry predicts muted error-related negativity

Biological Psychology 91(1): 96-102

Approach-related left prefrontal EEG asymmetry predicts muted error-related negativity

In two studies, we used electroencephalography (EEG) to test whether approach motivation-related brain activity predicts reduced sensitivity to negative outcomes. In both studies, participants (Study 1, N =26; Study 2, N =56) were first recorded for baseline EEG to measure approach-related left frontal EEG activity. They then completed either the color-naming Stroop task (Study 1) or the Multi-Source Interference Task (Study 2) to measure error-related negativity (ERN), an event-related potential that has been associated aversive motivation and distress. In both studies, higher leftward frontal EEG asymmetry predicted reduced ERN amplitude. Hierarchical regression analyses of the separate frontal nodes that comprise the asymmetry score further showed that left frontal activity predicted reduced ERN amplitude whereas right frontal activity predicted greater ERN amplitude. have implications for understanding emotion and motivation and for understanding the personal resilience associated with approach motivated states. In two studies, we used EEG to test if approach motivation mutes sensitivity to negative stimuli. In both studies, approach-related frontal alpha asymmetry predicted reduced error-related negativity, an event-related potential elicited by error commission. We discuss broad implications for these motivation/emotion systems.

Accession: 036409184

PMID: 22634389

DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2012.05.005

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