Is the relationship between frontal EEG alpha asymmetry and depression mediated by implicit or explicit self-esteem?

Biol Psychol. 2008 Jan;77(1):89-92. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2007.06.004. Epub 2007 Jun 30.


A robust physiological finding is a higher relative left sided activity in the prefrontal cortex during the experience of positive approach related emotions and a higher relative right sided activity during the experience of negative withdrawal related emotions. Since self-esteem can be conceptualized within a framework of approach/withdrawal tendencies, the present study aimed at investigating if the relation between frontal EEG alpha asymmetry and depressive symptoms is mediated by implicit or explicit self-esteem. Self-esteem was measured by questionnaires (explicit) and in an indirect way (implicit). The mediation analyses showed that only explicit self-esteem acted as a partial mediator in the path from EEG alpha asymmetry to depression.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alpha Rhythm*
  • Depression / physiopathology*
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Female
  • Frontal Lobe / physiology
  • Frontal Lobe / physiopathology*
  • Functional Laterality / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Self Concept*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires