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Biol Psychol. 2006 Jan;71(1):42-53. Epub 2005 Mar 17.

The relation of cortical activity and BIS/BAS on the trait level.

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Department of Biological and Clinical Psychology, Friedrich-Schiller-Universit├Ąt Jena, Am Steiger 3, Haus 1, D-07743 Jena, Germany.


The behavioral activation system (BAS) and the behavioral inhibition system (BIS) have been proposed to be related to anterior asymmetry in the BIS/BAS model of anterior asymmetry. As an alternative, it may be suggested that behavioral activation comprises approach and withdrawal motivation and that the BAS is related to bilateral frontal trait activity. The aim of the present study was an empirical investigation on the relation between cortical trait activity, BIS and BAS. Data of 59 subjects on four occasions were analyzed. On each occasion, cortical activity was evaluated with resting EEG, and the BIS and BAS strength was assessed with questionnaires. Subjects with greater bilateral frontal cortical activity showed higher BAS scores. The latter result may suggest that behavioral activation comprises approach and withdrawal motivation.

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