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Patterns of Hemispheric Perceptual Asymmetries: Left Hemispatial Biases Predict Changes in Anxiety and Positive Affect in Undergraduate Women

2001-12-01
Voelz, Zachary R.
Gençöz, Faruk
Gençöz, Tülin
Pettit, Jeremy W.
Perez, Marisol
Joiner, Thomas E.
Consistent with the tripartite model of anxiety and depression, hemispheric asymmetries may be differentially associated with depressive and anxious symptoms. Indeed, research has demonstrated that asymmetries do exist when examining hemispatial biases in both anxious and depressed individuals; however, the magnitude and direction of these asymmetries has been variable. The Chimeric Faces Task was used here to measure these asymmetries, along with measures for current and future levels of anxiety and depression. Results indicated that (a) increased left hemispatial biases at Time 1 predict increased anxiety (i.e., physiological hyperarousal) at Time 2 among female undergraduate students and (b) decreased left hemispatial biases at Time 1 predict decreased positive affectivity at Time 2 among the same participants. The possibility that hemispatial biases represent a vulnerability to future anxiety and depression is discussed.