Individual differences in automatic emotion regulation affect the asymmetry of the LPP component

PLoS One. 2014 Feb 11;9(2):e88261. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0088261. eCollection 2014.


The main goal of this study was to investigate how automatic emotion regulation altered the hemispheric asymmetry of ERPs elicited by emotion processing. We examined the effect of individual differences in automatic emotion regulation on the late positive potential (LPP) when participants were viewing blocks of positive high arousal, positive low arousal, negative high arousal and negative low arousal pictures from International affect picture system (IAPS). Two participant groups were categorized by the Emotion Regulation-Implicit Association Test which has been used in previous research to identify two groups of participants with automatic emotion control and with automatic emotion express. The main finding was that automatic emotion express group showed a right dominance of the LPP component at posterior electrodes, especially in high arousal conditions. But no right dominance of the LPP component was observed for automatic emotion control group. We also found the group with automatic emotion control showed no differences in the right posterior LPP amplitude between high- and low-arousal emotion conditions, while the participants with automatic emotion express showed larger LPP amplitude in the right posterior in high-arousal conditions compared to low-arousal conditions. This result suggested that AER (Automatic emotion regulation) modulated the hemispheric asymmetry of LPP on posterior electrodes and supported the right hemisphere hypothesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Arousal / physiology
  • Behavior
  • Electrodes
  • Electroencephalography / methods
  • Emotions* / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Individuality*
  • Inhibition, Psychological*
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Young Adult

Grant support

This research was supported by the Major Project of the National Social Science Fund (11&ZD187), the evaluation and training to the people with drug addiction in Beijing, the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 31200845) and the Basic research funds in Renmin University of China from the central government (code: 12XNLF10). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.