Date of Award

7-15-2009

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Michael J. Owren, Ph.D. - Chair

Second Advisor

Paul M. Corballis, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Tricia Z. King, Ph.D.

Abstract

Frontal electroencephalographic (EEG) alpha (α) asymmetry may index the activation of lateralized affect and motivation systems in humans. Resting EEG activation was measured and its relationship to Iowa gambling task (IGT) performance was evaluated. No effects were found for α power asymmetry. However, beta (β) power asymmetry, an alternative measure of resting EEG activation, was associated with the number of risky decisions made in the early portion of the task. Additionally, IGT deck selection patterns suggest there are at least three distinct performance styles in healthy individuals. Interestingly, β power asymmetry contradicts performance predictions based on accepted frontal asymmetry affect and motivation models.

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