Affective self-report during the intracarotid sodium amobarbital test: Group differences

Geoffrey L. Ahern, Anne M. Herring, David M. Labiner, Martin E. Weinand, Ronald Hutzler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Emotional reactions are sometimes observed during the intracarotid sodium amobarbital test. For instance, euphoric/indifference reactions can be seen during right hemisphere inactivation and catastrophic reactions may accompany left hemisphere inactivation. Less dramatic changes can also be detected in affective self-report during left and right hemisphere amobarbital tests, with more negative affect reported during left hemisphere inactivation and either neutral or mildly positive affective states reported during right hemisphere inactivation. The current study not only replicated this effect, but in addition, found significant group differences. The first group (right way) showed a pattern of affective self-report during left and right amobarbital tests entirely consistent with prior findings, while a second group (wrong way) showed results that behaved in a diametrically opposite fashion. A third group (no change) showed little, if any, difference in affective self-report during left and right amobarbital tests. The major factor distinguishing the wrong way group from the other two appeared to be an asymmetrical distribution of left and right temporal lobe lesions in the former group. In contrast, the factor differentiating the right way group from the no change group appeared to be the relative degree of left hemisphere inactivation during the left hemisphere amobarbital test. The results are discussed not only in terms of their impact on theories of cerebral lateralization for emotion, but also in terms of methodological issues in this field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)659-667
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the International Neuropsychological Society
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2000


  • Amobarbital
  • Cerebral lateralization for emotion
  • Epilepsy
  • ISA
  • Quantitative EEG
  • Wada Test

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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