Extroversion-related differences in speed of premotor and motor processing as revealed by lateralized readiness potentials

J Mot Behav. 2008 Mar;40(2):143-54. doi: 10.3200/JMBR.40.2.143-154.


To further elucidate extroversion-related differences in speed of sensorimotor processing, the authors obtained behavioral and psychophysiological measures as participants (16 introverts and 16 extroverts) performed a visual go/no-go task. Although no extroversion-related differences in reaction time emerged, introverts showed faster premotor processing but slower central and peripheral motor processing--as indicated by latencies of the lateralized readiness potential (LRP) and electromyographic (EMG) data, respectively--than extroverts did. Additional regression analyses revealed that stimulus-locked LRP latency, response-locked LRP latency, and Nl EMG amplitude accounted for 40% of overall variability in individual extroversion scores. On the basis of the present results, the authors introduce a compensation hypothesis that accounts for the common failure of researchers to demonstrate extroversion-related differences in reaction time. The present results challenge J. Brebner and C. Cooper's (1985) model of extroversion in which stimulus analysis is not slower in introverts than in extroverts. However, the present findings support the assumption of faster motor processing in extroverts.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Contingent Negative Variation / physiology*
  • Electromyography
  • Extraversion, Psychological*
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Introversion, Psychological
  • Mental Processes / physiology
  • Movement / physiology
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Reaction Time / physiology*
  • Reference Values
  • Statistics, Nonparametric