The Dynamic Cerebral Laterality Effect: Group Differences in Hostility, Cardiovascular Regulation, and Sensory Recognition


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Virginia Tech


This experiment tested two hypotheses linking the right cerebral regulation of hostility and cardiovascular arousal. First, replication of previous research supporting heightened cardiovascular (systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, and heart rate) reactivity among high hostile participants was attempted. Second, dynamic variations in functional cerebral asymmetry in response to pain (cold pressor) and emotional linguistic processing was measured. Low- and high-hostile participants were identified using the Cook Medley Hostility Scale (CMHS). All participants completed either the negative affective verbal learning test (Experiment 1) or the cold pressor paradigm (Experiment 2). Cardiovascular measures (SBP, DBP, and HR) were recorded and either dichotic listening procedures (Experiment 1) or tachistoscopic lexical recognition procedures (Experiment 2) were administered before and after the stressor. The primary finding of this research was greater left cerebral activation (decreased cardiovascular reactivity) following the dichotic phoneme listening and the tachistoscopic lexical recognition tasks and greater right cerebral activation following pain (cold pressor) and emotionally linguistic (affective verbal learning) stressors.



Hostility, Lateralization, Stress, Asymmetry, Tachistoscope, Dichotic Listening, Cardiovascular Disease