EEG asymmetry at 10 months of age: are temperament trait predictors different for boys and girls?

Dev Psychobiol. 2014 Sep;56(6):1327-40. doi: 10.1002/dev.21212. Epub 2014 Mar 14.


Frontal EEG asymmetry patterns represent markers of individual differences in emotion reactivity and regulation, with right hemisphere activation linked with withdrawal behaviors/emotions (e.g., fear), and activation of the left hemisphere associated with approach (e.g., joy, anger). In the present study, gender was examined as a potential moderator of links between infant temperament at 5 months, and frontal EEG asymmetry patterns recorded during an Arm Restraint procedure at 10 months of age. Positive Affectivity/Surgency (PAS), Negative Emotionality (NE), and Orienting/Regulatory Capacity (ORC) were considered as predictors, with PAS emerging as significant for males; higher levels translating into greater right-frontal activation later in infancy. For females, ORC accounted for a significant portion of the frontal asymmetry scores, with higher ORC being associated with greater right-frontal activation. The moderating influence of gender noted in this study is discussed in the context of implications for discrepancies in rates/symptoms of psychopathology later in childhood.

Keywords: EEG asymmetry; gender differences; infancy; moderator effects; temperament.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Electroencephalography
  • Emotions / physiology*
  • Female
  • Frontal Lobe / physiology*
  • Functional Laterality / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Personality Development
  • Sex Characteristics*
  • Temperament / physiology*