Laterality of lesions and trait-anxiety on working memory performance

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An asymmetry of anterior cerebral activation favoring the right hemisphere has been associated with dispositional negative affect including trait-anxiety, while the opposite appears true of cerebral asymmetry favoring the left hemisphere. It was hypothesized that an asymmetry of cerebral activation, as defined by scores on a measure of trait-anxiety, ipsilateral to the side of an anterior brain lesion would be associated with less efficient cognitive processing than greater activation in the hemisphere contralateral to the lesion. Patients with anterior left (n=16) or right (n=15) hemisphere lesions completed the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory and several neurocognitive tasks. Of the abilities tested, only Digit Span scores showed an interaction between side of lesion and presumed activation asymmetry. Patients with right-but not with left-hemisphere damage showed significant differences in working memory performance depending on the presumed direction of asymmetry of the two hemispheres, supporting the dual roles of the right hemisphere in affective processing and directed attention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)551-558
Number of pages8
JournalPerceptual and motor skills
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Sensory Systems


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