Conceptual and empirical approaches to the study of the role of asymmetric frontal
cortical activity in emotional processes are reviewed. Although early research suggested
that greater left than right frontal cortical activity was associated with positive
affect, more recent research, primarily on anger, suggests that greater left than
right frontal cortical activity is associated with approach motivation, which can
be positive (e.g., enthusiasm) or negative in valence (e.g., anger). In addition to
reviewing this research on anger, research on guilt, bipolar disorder, and various
types of positive affect is reviewed with relation to their association with asymmetric
frontal cortical activity. The reviewed research not only contributes to a more complete
understanding of the emotive functions of asymmetric frontal cortical activity, but
it also points to the importance of considering motivational direction as separate
from affective valence in psychological models of emotional space.
Copyright © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.