Intracranial source activity (eLORETA) related to scalp-level asymmetry scores and depression status

Ezra E. Smith, James F. Cavanagh, John J.B. Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Frontal EEG alpha asymmetry provides a promising index of depression risk, yet very little is known about the neural sources of alpha asymmetry. To identify these sources, this study examined alpha asymmetry using a distributed inverse solution: exact low resolution brain electromagnetic tomography (eLORETA). Findings implicated a generator in lateral midfrontal regions that contributed to both surface asymmetry and depression risk. Participants with any lifetime history of depressive episodes were characterized by less left than right activity in the precentral gyrus and midfrontal gyrus. Anhedonia accounted for a significant portion of the relationship between alpha asymmetry and lifetime major depressive disorder. Results are suggestive of convergence between motivational and capability models of asymmetry and replicate results from experimental studies in a large resting-state data set. The capability model of frontal alpha asymmetry is contextualized in terms of motor preparedness following emotional mobilization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere13019
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2018


  • EEG alpha asymmetry
  • anhedonia
  • depression
  • emotion
  • source estimation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Physiology


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