Influence of trait behavioral inhibition and behavioral approach motivation systems on the LPP and frontal asymmetry to anger pictures

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Behavioral approach and avoidance are fundamental to the experience of emotion and motivation, but the motivational system associated with anger is not well established. Some theories posit that approach motivational processes underlie anger, whereas others posit that avoidance motivational processes underlie anger. The current experiment sought to address whether traits related to behavioral approach or avoidance influence responses to anger stimuli using multiple measures: ERP, electroencephalographic (EEG) α-asymmetry and self-report. After completing the behavioral inhibition system/behavioral approach system (BIS/BAS) scales, participants viewed anger pictures and neutral pictures. BAS predicted larger late positive potentials (LPPs) to anger pictures, but not to neutral pictures. In addition, BAS predicted greater left-frontal asymmetry to anger pictures. Moreover, larger LPPs to anger pictures related to greater left-frontal EEG asymmetry during anger pictures. These results suggest that trait approach motivation relates to neurophysiological responses of anger.

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