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Psychophysiology. 2012 Apr;49(4):489-98. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8986.2011.01324.x. Epub 2011 Dec 16.

Frontal brain asymmetry and affective flexibility in an emotional contagion paradigm.

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Department of Psychology, Biological Psychology Unit, Karl-Franzens University of Graz, Graz, Austria.


This study was aimed at examining the relation of an individual's EEG asymmetry in the lateral frontal cortex, assessed in resting conditions, to affective flexibility. An auditory paradigm was used to induce negative (sad) and positive (cheerful) affective states, and state-dependent shifts of dorsolateral EEG asymmetry in response to and after the emotional provocations were observed. A Left>Right activation pattern at rest was associated with a shift to the right during negative and a shift to the left during positive stimulation, and efficient recovery after negative stimulation. Right>Left participants appeared unresponsive to both sounds. Distinct and differentiated responses to provocation with negative and positive affect and efficient recovery suggest that Left>Right prefrontal activity at rest is related to a flexible pattern of affective responding, which has been linked to adaptive emotional processing in the relevant literature.

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