Trait behavioral approach sensitivity (BAS) relates to early (<150 ms) electrocortical responses to appetitive stimuli

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Much past research has focused on how traits related to the behavioral inhibition system (BIS) and avoidance motivation influence the almost obligatory attentional processing of aversive stimuli as measured as early as 100 ms into stimulus processing. These results fit with the functional importance assigned to the negativity bias. But do traits related to the behavioral approach system (BAS) influence attentional processing with similar rapidity? The present study addressed this unanswered question by testing whether trait BAS relates to event-related potentials (ERP) involved in rapid motivated attentional processing to appetitive stimuli. Results indicated that individual differences in BAS were correlated with larger ERP amplitudes as early as 100 ms into the processing of appetitive pictures. These results provide the first evidence linking trait approach motivational tendencies to very early stages of motivated attentional processing.

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