Frontal EEG asymmetry and fear reactivity in different contexts at 10 months

Dev Psychobiol. 2012 Jul;54(5):536-45. doi: 10.1002/dev.20612. Epub 2011 Oct 17.


Individual differences in observed and maternal-rated fear behaviors and frontal electroencephalogram (EEG) asymmetry were examined in normally developing 10-month-old infants. EEG was recorded during resting baseline, as well as during stranger approach, mask presentation, and toy spider presentation. Mothers completed the Infant Behavior Questionnaire. For mask presentation, baseline and task right frontal EEG asymmetry as well as maternal ratings predicted fear behavior during the mask task. For stranger approach, task-related right frontal EEG asymmetry predicted fear behavior during stranger approach after controlling for baseline asymmetry. There was a trend for task-related right frontal EEG asymmetry to predict fear during presentation of a toy spider after controlling for baseline asymmetry. Maternal report of temperament only added unique variance to the prediction of one fear task after controlling for baseline and task EEG. Assessing fear in multiple situations revealed context-specific individual differences in infant fear.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Electroencephalography*
  • Fear / physiology*
  • Female
  • Frontal Lobe / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Behavior / physiology*
  • Male
  • Regression Analysis
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Temperament / physiology*