There is an ongoing debate on whether the terms anxiety and fear denote distinct states. Brain imaging studies suggest they may indeed be dissociable and are differentially lateralized. A study of 54 normal college students successfully found doubly dissociable electrophysiological correlates of trait anxiety and fearfulness that had the predicted laterality. Trait anxious participants displayed a left-lateralized visual N1 (localized to the temporo-parietal junction) whereas trait fearful participants presented a right-lateralized P1r (localized to the superior parietal region). These findings support the proposal that trait anxiety and trait fearfulness are distinct personality dimensions with distinctive patterns of laterality.
- Event-related potentials
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