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Open AccessArticle

Effects of Emotional Valence on Hemispheric Asymmetries in Response Inhibition

Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, Biopsychology, Department of Psychology, Ruhr-University Bochum, 44801 Bochum, Germany
Institute of Medical Psychology and Systems Neuroscience, University of Münster, 48149 Münster, Germany
Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Lab, School of Psychology, Victoria University of Wellington, 6140 Wellington, New Zealand
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to the manuscript.
Academic Editor: Lesley Rogers
Symmetry 2017, 9(8), 145;
Received: 31 March 2017 / Revised: 15 July 2017 / Accepted: 26 July 2017 / Published: 5 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Brain Asymmetry of Structure and/or Function)
Hemispheric asymmetries are a major organizational principle in human emotion processing, but their interaction with prefrontal control processes is not well understood. To this end, we determined whether hemispheric differences in response inhibition depend on the emotional valence of the stimulus being inhibited. Participants completed a lateralised Go/Nogo task, in which Nogo stimuli were neutral or emotional (either positive or negative) images, while Go stimuli were scrambled versions of the same pictures. We recorded the N2 and P3 event-related potential (ERP) components, two common electrophysiological measures of response inhibition processes. Behaviourally, participants were more accurate in withholding responses to emotional than to neutral stimuli. Electrophysiologically, Nogo-P3 responses were greater for emotional than for neutral stimuli, an effect driven primarily by an enhanced response to positive images. Hemispheric asymmetries were also observed, with greater Nogo-P3 following left versus right visual field stimuli. However, the visual field effect did not interact with emotion. We therefore find no evidence that emotion-related asymmetries affect response inhibition processes. View Full-Text
Keywords: emotion; lateralisation; hemispheric asymmetry; executive functions; EEG emotion; lateralisation; hemispheric asymmetry; executive functions; EEG
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Ocklenburg, S.; Peterburs, J.; Mertzen, J.; Schmitz, J.; Güntürkün, O.; Grimshaw, G.M. Effects of Emotional Valence on Hemispheric Asymmetries in Response Inhibition. Symmetry 2017, 9, 145.

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