Frontal Laterality, Personality and Social Cognition

Proposal details

Title: Frontal Laterality, Personality and Social Cognition
Research Area(s): Emotion and Self Regulation
Background: Richard Davidson has pioneered the investigation of individual differences in emotion. His approach-withdrawal model of frontal laterality has greatly influenced emotion research over the last 15 years. However, support for this model has been inconsistent (see Wager et al., 2003 for a meta-analysis). The Brain Resource International Database provides a unique opportunity to explore associations between resting state frontal laterality and personality, and to examine differences between individuals classifed as right-lateralised and individuals classifed as left-lateralised and their response to emotional facial expressions.
Aims: The aim of the current study is to examine the association between resting state frontal laterality and affective states (eg. response to emotional facial expressions, personality). It is hypothesised that participants classified as left-lateralised will score higher on measures of extraversion, whilst participants classified as right-lateralised will score higher on measures of neuroticism. Furthermore, it is hypothesised that right-lateralised individuals will show greater activation to negative facial expressions whilst left-lateralised individuals will show greater activation to positive facial expressions.
Method: 1500 healthy control subjects in the BRID will be selected for analyses. Correlational analyses will be conducted between a measure of frontal laterality and NEO-FFI. Subjects will then be categorised on baseline frontal asymmetry (left or right lateralised)and differences between these groups will be examined in terms of ERP and fMRI responses to emotional facial expressions.