Background: Mid-frontal and mid-lateral (F3/F4 and F7/F8) EEG asymmetry has been associated with motivation and affect. We examined alpha EEG asymmetry in depressed and healthy participants before and after Behavioral Activation treatment for depression; examined the association between alpha EEG asymmetry and motivational systems and affect; and evaluated the utility of alpha EEG asymmetry in predicting remission. Methods: Depressed (n=. 37) and healthy participants (n=. 35) were assessed before and after treatment using a clinical interview, a task to measure baseline EEG, and questionnaires of behavioral activation and inhibition, avoidance, and affect. Results: Alpha EEG asymmetry was significantly higher in depressed than healthy participants at pre-treatment, positively correlated with negative affect and behavioral inhibition, and inversely correlated with lower behavioral activation sensitivity. Conclusions: Heightened alpha EEG asymmetry in depressed participants was significantly associated with increased behavioral inhibition and negative emotion and was independent of clinical remission.
- Alpha EEG asymmetry
- Approach-related motivation
- Behavioral Activation treatment
- Major depression
- Withdrawal-related motivation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology