Special Issue "Biological Psychology: Brain Asymmetry and Behavioral Brain"

A special issue of Symmetry (ISSN 2073-8994). This special issue belongs to the section "Biology and Symmetry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 January 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Vilfredo De Pascalis
Website SciProfiles
Guest Editor
Department of Psychology, La Sapienza University of Rome, Roma, Italy
Interests: personality; individual traits; hypnotizability; hypnosis; cognitive control of pain; EEG

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Despite the superficial appearance of symmetry of the right and left hemispheres, the human brain is functionally asymmetrical. Capacity in cognitive processing is enhanced by the lateralization of brain functions. It is notable that vertebrates and humans, apart from language, share a fundamental pattern of lateralization, including a variety of functions as attention, learning, memory, social behavior, and face processing. Research in humans has also shown that the level of functional brain asymmetry may depend on a number of factors, including gender, individual differences in dispositional approach and avoidance behavior, optimism, and social interaction factors. For example, EEG research has reported a greater left- than right-frontal activation at rest in approach-oriented individuals, whereas higher levels in anxiety/behavioral inhibition have been associated with greater right- than left-frontal activation.

Research reports on hemispheric asymmetry and its modulation by individual differences in affective tendencies and situational context will be well accepted for this Special Issue of Symmetry. Furthermore, papers including electrophysiology, neuroimaging, and biochemical estimations of brain asymmetry will be particularly relevant. Reports on hemispheric asymmetry in psychopathology are also accepted, and so will reviews and theoretical debates of the lateralization of hemispheric functions.

Prof. Vilfredo De Pascalis
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Symmetry is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • functional brain asymmetry
  • behavior
  • electrophysiology
  • neuroimaging
  • individual differences
  • personality traits
  • social interaction
  • psychopathology
  • genetic expression
  • hormonal influences

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Asymmetric Contributions of the Fronto-Parietal Network to Emotional Conflict in the Word–Face Interference Task
Symmetry 2020, 12(10), 1701; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym12101701 - 16 Oct 2020
Abstract
The fronto-parietal network is involved in top-down and bottom-up processes necessary to achieve cognitive control. We investigated the role of asymmetric enhancement of the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (lDLPFC) and right posterior parietal cortex (rPPC) in cognitive control under [...] Read more.
The fronto-parietal network is involved in top-down and bottom-up processes necessary to achieve cognitive control. We investigated the role of asymmetric enhancement of the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (lDLPFC) and right posterior parietal cortex (rPPC) in cognitive control under conditions of emotional conflict arising from emotional distractors. The effects of anodal tDCS over the lDLPFC/cathodal over the rPPC and the effects of anodal tDCS over the rPPC/cathodal over the lDLPFC were compared to sham tDCS in a double-blind design. The findings showed that anodal stimulation over the lDLPFC reduced interference from emotional distractors, but only when participants had already gained experience with the task. In contrast, having already performed the task only eliminated facilitation effects for positive stimuli. Importantly, anodal stimulation of the rPPC did not affect distractors’ interference. Therefore, the present findings indicate that the lDLPFC plays a crucial role in implementing top-down control to resolve emotional conflict, but that experience with the task is necessary to reveal this role. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Psychology: Brain Asymmetry and Behavioral Brain)
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Open AccessArticle
Which Side Looks Better? Cultural Differences in Preference for Left- or Right-Facing Objects
Symmetry 2020, 12(10), 1658; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym12101658 - 10 Oct 2020
Abstract
An oblique view of three-dimensional objects is preferred over a frontal or lateral view, partly because it is more familiar and easily recognizable. However, which side of a symmetric object looks better remains unsolved. Reading direction, handedness, and the functionality of objects have [...] Read more.
An oblique view of three-dimensional objects is preferred over a frontal or lateral view, partly because it is more familiar and easily recognizable. However, which side of a symmetric object looks better remains unsolved. Reading direction, handedness, and the functionality of objects have been suggested as the potential sources of directional bias. In this study, participants of three online surveys (total N = 1082) were asked to choose one item that looked better or was more aesthetically pleasing; the test was performed between 100 pairs of left- and right-facing mirror-images. The results showed that Japanese participants (both vertical and left-to-right readers) and Israeli participants (right-to-left readers) preferred left-facing images over right-facing images, whereas American participants (left-to-right readers) preferred right-facing images over left-facing images. Weak effects of handedness and object functionality were also found: Left-handers tended to choose right-facing images more than right-handers, and the view of objects with a handle that is graspable by the dominant hand was more likely to be chosen over the opposite side view, regardless of culture. Although previous studies have emphasized the role of reading direction, a close look at the results suggests that it cannot fully account for the preferred facing direction of oblique objects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Psychology: Brain Asymmetry and Behavioral Brain)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
EEG Resting Asymmetries and Frequency Oscillations in Approach/Avoidance Personality Traits: A Systematic Review
Symmetry 2020, 12(10), 1712; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym12101712 - 16 Oct 2020
Abstract
Background: Brain cortical activity in resting electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings can be considered as measures of latent individual disposition to approach/avoidance behavior. This systematic review aims to provide an updated overview of the relationship between resting EEG cortical activity and approach/avoidance motivation personality traits. [...] Read more.
Background: Brain cortical activity in resting electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings can be considered as measures of latent individual disposition to approach/avoidance behavior. This systematic review aims to provide an updated overview of the relationship between resting EEG cortical activity and approach/avoidance motivation personality traits. Methods: The review process was conducted according to the PRISMA-Statement, using PsycArticles, MEDLINE, Scopus, Science Citation Index, and Research Gate database. Restrictions were made by selecting EEG studies conducted in resting idling conditions, which included approach/avoidance personality traits or parallel measures, and an index of EEG brain activity. In the review 50 studies were selected, wherein 7120 healthy adult individuals participated. Results: The study of the relationship between resting EEG cortical activity and approach/avoidance personality traits provides controversial and unclear results. Therefore, the validity of resting asymmetry or frequency oscillations as a potential marker for approach/avoidance personality traits is not supported. Conclusions: There are important contextual and interactional factors not taken into account by researchers that could mediate or moderate this relationship or prove it scarcely replicable. Further, it would be necessary to conduct more sessions of EEG recordings in different seasons of the year to test the validity and the reliability of the neurobiological measures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Psychology: Brain Asymmetry and Behavioral Brain)
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Open AccessReview
There are More than Two Sides to Antisocial Behavior: The Inextricable Link between Hemispheric Specialization and Environment
Symmetry 2020, 12(10), 1671; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym12101671 - 13 Oct 2020
Abstract
Human functions and traits are linked to cerebral networks serving different emotional and cognitive control systems, some of which rely on hemispheric specialization and integration to promote adaptive goal-directed behavior. Among the neural systems discussed in this context are those underlying pro- and [...] Read more.
Human functions and traits are linked to cerebral networks serving different emotional and cognitive control systems, some of which rely on hemispheric specialization and integration to promote adaptive goal-directed behavior. Among the neural systems discussed in this context are those underlying pro- and antisocial behaviors. The diverse functions and traits governing our social behavior have been associated with lateralized neural activity. However, as with other complex behaviors, specific hemispheric roles are difficult to elucidate. This is due largely to environmental and contextual influences, which interact with neural substrates in the development and expression of pro and antisocial functions. This paper will discuss the reciprocal ties between environmental factors and hemispheric functioning in the context of social behavior. Rather than an exhaustive review, the paper will attempt to familiarize readers with the prominent literature and primary questions to encourage further research and in-depth discussion in this field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Psychology: Brain Asymmetry and Behavioral Brain)
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