Frontal cortical asymmetry and impulsive aggression.
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Lake, Sarah Laurie.
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The present study uses individuals who display impulsive aggressive outbursts and measures resting frontal cortical activity. Impulsive aggression (IA) is described as a reactive or emotionally charged aggressive response characterized by a loss of behavioral control. Previous physiological studies have found IAs have sensory and informational processing deficits. Undergraduate volunteers were recruited for an 8min resting EEG with 1min blocks of eyes open or closed. Age- and gender-matched controls reported no aggressive outbursts and a score below 4 on the BDHI. Statistical differences were found between IAs and controls in both the midfrontal [t(22) = 2.743, p < .01] and lateral frontal [t(22) = 2.365, p < .05] regions, with IAs having more right resting activity than controls. Due to the nature of IA as a trait in the current sample, this study lends evidence towards resting frontal asymmetry as a marker for susceptibility to psychopathology.