A longitudinal study of emotion regulation and anxiety in middle childhood: Associations with frontal EEG asymmetry in early childhood.
ABSTRACT We investigated whether brain electrical activity during early childhood was associated with anxiety symptoms and emotion regulation during a stressful situation during middle childhood. Frontal electroencephalogram (EEG) asymmetries were measured during baseline and during a cognitive control task at 4 1/2 years. Anxiety and emotion regulation were assessed during a stressful situation at age 9 (speech task), along with measures of heart rate (HR) and heart rate variability (HRV). Questionnaires were also used to assess anxiety and emotion regulation at age 9. Results from this longitudinal study indicated that children who exhibited right frontal asymmetry in early childhood experienced more physiological arousal (increased HR, decreased HRV) during the speech task at age 9 and less ability to regulate their emotions as reported by their parents. Findings are discussed in light of the associations between temperament and development of anxiety disorders.
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ABSTRACT: Recent studies have highlighted the role of right-sided anterior temporal and prefrontal activation during anxiety, yet no study has been performed with social phobics that assesses regional brain and autonomic function. This study compared electroencephalograms (EEGs) and autonomic activity in social phobics and controls while they anticipated making a public speech. Electroencephalograms from 14 scalp locations, heart rate, and blood pressure were recorded while 18 DSM-IV social phobics and 10 controls anticipated making a public speech, as well as immediately after the speech was made. Self-reports of anxiety and affect were also obtained. Phobics showed a significantly greater increase in anxiety and negative affect during the anticipation condition compared with controls. Heart rate was elevated in the phobics relative to the controls in most conditions. Phobics showed a marked increase in right-sided activation in the anterior temporal and lateral prefrontal scalp regions. These heart rate and EEG changes together accounted for > 48% of the variance in the increase in negative affect during the anticipation phase. These findings support the hypothesis of right-sided anterior cortical activation during anxiety and indicate that the combination of EEG and heart rate changes during anticipation account for substantial variance in reported negative affect.Biological Psychiatry 01/2000; 47(2):85-95. · 9.25 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Previous research suggests an association between frontal electroencephalographic (EEG) asymmetries and both positive and negative emotion reactivity. Specifically, right frontal EEG activation is associated with emotions of negative valence in both infants and adults, whereas left frontal EEG activation is associated with emotions of more positive valence. Relatively few studies have examined such associations in children. Moreover, research on mechanisms through which emotion reactivity is related to frontal EEG asymmetries is sparse. As one possible mechanism, we hypothesize that regulatory skills and behaviors developing rapidly during childhood play a critical role in linking frontal EEG asymmetries to emotion reactivity in children. To test the research hypothesis, 25 children were followed from early-to-middle childhood at two different points in time with a 4-year interview interval. Results show that individual variations in a number of regulatory behaviors among children are significantly associated with frontal EEG asymmetries. Our results provide support for the possibility of frontal EEG asymmetry informing the study of the development of regulation in children. The discussion of the findings is centered on potential risk for and resilience to children's emotional reactivity and regulation.Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 01/2007; 1094:308-12. · 4.38 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Although several studies have examined anterior asymmetric brain electrical activity and cortisol in infants, children, and adults, the direct association between asymmetry and cortisol has not systematically been reported. In nonhuman primates, greater relative right anterior activation has been associated with higher cortisol levels. The current study examines the relation between frontal electroencephalographic (EEG) asymmetry and cortisol (basal and reactive) and withdrawal-related behaviors (fear and sadness) in 6-month-old infants. As predicted, the authors found that higher basal and reactive cortisol levels were associated with extreme right EEG asymmetry. EEG during the withdrawal-negative affect task was associated with fear and sadness behaviors. Results are interpreted in the context of the previous primate work, and some putative mechanisms are discussed.Behavioral Neuroscience 03/2003; 117(1):11-20. · 2.63 Impact Factor