Differential lateralization of trait anxiety and trait fearfulness: Evoked potential correlates

Joseph Dien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)333-356
Number of pages24
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 11 1998


  • Anxiety
  • Emotions
  • Event-related potentials
  • Laterality
  • N1
  • P300

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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