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This study explored the effect of lateralized left–right resting brain activity on prefrontal cortical responsiveness to emotional cues and on the explicit appraisal (stimulus evaluation) of emotions based on their valence. Indeed subjective responses to different emotional stimuli should be predicted by brain resting activity and should be lateralized and valence-related (positive vs negative valence). A hemodynamic measure was considered (functional near-infrared spectroscopy). Indeed hemodynamic resting activity and brain response to emotional cues were registered when subjects (N = 19) viewed emotional positive vs negative stimuli (IAPS). Lateralized index response during resting state, LI (lateralized index) during emotional processing and self-assessment manikin rating were considered. Regression analysis showed the significant predictive effect of resting activity (more left or right lateralized) on both brain response and appraisal of emotional cues based on stimuli valence. Moreover, significant effects were found as a function of valence (more right response to negative stimuli; more left response to positive stimuli) during emotion processing. Therefore, resting state may be considered a predictive marker of the successive cortical responsiveness to emotions. The significance of resting condition for emotional behavior was discussed.