BIS/BAS responses to emotional cues: self report, autonomic measure and alpha band modulation

Michela Balconi, Emma Brambilla, Luciana Falbo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


The study explored the effect of the subjective evaluation and of BIS/BAS (Behavioral Inhibition and Activation System) differences on psychophysiological and brain oscillation measures, in response to pleasant/unpleasant and high/low arousing stimuli. Skin conductance response, heart rate, and electromyography, and alpha frequency band, were registered, during viewing IAPS figures. Both BIS and BAS measures were significant in modulating behavioral, autonomic and brain responses, with a clear dichotomy BAS-appetitive/positive BIS-withdrawal/negative sensitivity. Withdrawal (BIS) and appetitive (BAS) behavior showed opposite patterns of responses by the subjects within the frontal cortical site more than other sites. In addition, a specific frontal lateralization effect was found as a function of BIS (more right-side activation for negative cues) and BAS (more left-side activation for positive cues). Moreover, autonomic variables and frequency band were found to be effected by arousal rating per se, with an increased response to high arousal in comparison with low arousal and neutral stimuli. The effects of subjective evaluation and individual differences were discussed in the light of the coping activity of emotion comprehension.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)858-863
Number of pages6
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Autonomic measures
  • BIS/BAS systems
  • Emotions
  • Frequency bands
  • Lateralization


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