Anterior electrophysiological asymmetries, emotion, and depression: conceptual and methodological conundrums

R J Davidson


Two reports in the last issue of this journal attempted to replicate aspects of our previous studies on anterior electroencephalogram (EEG) asymmetry, affective style, and depression. In this commentary, an overview is provided of our model of anterior asymmetries, affective style, and psychopathology. Emphasis is placed on conceptualizing the prefrontal and anterior temporal activation patterns within a circuit that includes cortical and subcortical structures. The causal status of individual differences in asymmetric activation in the production of affective style and psychopathology is considered. Major emphasis is placed on EEG methods, particularly the need for multiple assessments to obtain estimates of asymmetric activation that better reflect an individual's true score. Issues specific to each of the two articles are also considered. Each of the articles has more consistency with our previously published data than the authors themselves suggest. Recommendations are made for future research to resolve some of the outstanding issues.


Mar 10, 2001·Depression and Anxiety·M A DiegoM Hernandez-Reif
Sep 5, 2002·Developmental Psychobiology·Mark H McManisSue A Woodward
Sep 7, 2011·Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology·Xin FengJeffrey F Cohn
Jan 24, 2009·Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders·Caley B SchwartzPeter C Mundy
Sep 29, 2006·Neuropsychology Review·Gina A Mollet, David W Harrison
Feb 16, 2013·Biological Psychology·Philipp M KeuneBoris Kotchoubey
Oct 4, 2002·Biological Psychiatry·Richard J DavidsonBradley S Peterson
Dec 22, 1999·Biological Psychiatry·D S Pine
Dec 2, 2000·Neuropsychologia·S K Sutton, R J Davidson
Dec 19, 2000·Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews·N C RattenborgS L Lima
Mar 22, 2000·Psychiatry Research·D S PineR G Klein
Dec 5, 2000·International Journal of Psychophysiology : Official Journal of the International Organization of Psychophysiology·M M MüllerA Keil
Sep 26, 2003·International Journal of Psychophysiology : Official Journal of the International Organization of Psychophysiology·Joel F LubarJohn H Askew
Oct 31, 2003·International Journal of Psychophysiology : Official Journal of the International Organization of Psychophysiology·Rudolf StarkDieter Vaitl
Jun 6, 2003·Progress in Neuro-psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry·Ingmar H A Franken
Apr 18, 2001·Psychiatry Research·V KnottK Evans
Sep 27, 2003·Psychiatry Research·Rebecca J HoustonVictor M Hesselbrock
May 14, 1999·Current Opinion in Neurobiology·R J DavidsonK Putnam
Oct 30, 2001·Clinical Neurophysiology : Official Journal of the International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology·A KeilT Elbert
Nov 27, 1999·Clinical Neurophysiology : Official Journal of the International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology·M M MüllerT Elbert
Feb 5, 2010·Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society : JINS·W Todd MaddoxArthur B Markman
May 5, 2004·Journal of Abnormal Psychology·Linda J MetzgerScott P Orr
Dec 16, 2004·Journal of Personality and Social Psychology·Johannes HewigDieter Bartussek
Jan 27, 2006·Psychological Bulletin·Nicole M Else-QuestCarol A Van Hulle
Jun 29, 2005·Emotion·Jennifer A BurbridgeDeanna M Barch
Dec 22, 2005·Emotion·Stefan G HofmannDiego A Pizzagalli
Jul 11, 2012·Journal of Abnormal Psychology·Robin NusslockLyn Y Abramson
May 24, 2008·International Journal of Cosmetic Science·W BoucseinW Eisfeld
Feb 19, 2010·Cognition & Emotion·Kareem J JohnsonBarbara L Fredrickson
Apr 15, 2010·Developmental Neuropsychology·Greg HajcakDoreen M Olvet
Aug 1, 2008·Schizophrenia Bulletin·William P HoranMichael F Green
Apr 14, 2009·Topics in Magnetic Resonance Imaging : TMRI·Simona Sava, Deborah A Yurgelun-Todd
Dec 3, 2009·Journal of Clinical Neurophysiology : Official Publication of the American Electroencephalographic Society·Vera A Grin-YatsenkoJuri D Kropotov
Sep 7, 2004·Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences·Richard J Davidson
Mar 21, 2002·Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, and Allied Disciplines·Lioba BavingMartin H Schmidt

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