The neural correlates of reinforcement sensitivity theory: a systematic review of the frontal asymmetry and spectral power literature

Heym, N. ORCID: 0000-0003-2414-8854, Sumich, A. ORCID: 0000-0003-4333-8442, Standen, B. ORCID: 0000-0002-6615-063X, Firth, J. ORCID: 0000-0002-7825-0945 and Fino, E., 2024. The neural correlates of reinforcement sensitivity theory: a systematic review of the frontal asymmetry and spectral power literature. Psychophysiology: e14594. ISSN 0048-5772

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The original Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory (oRST) proposes two systems of approach (BAS) and avoidance (BIS) motivation to underpin personality and behavior. The revised-RST (rRST) model separates avoidance motivation into passive (BIS; anxiety) and active (FFFS; fear) systems. Prior research has attempted to map RST onto lateralized frontal asymmetry to provide a neurophysiological marker of RST. The main aim is to examine the relationships of the o/rRST scales with trait (baseline) and state (manipulated through experimental paradigms) frontal asymmetry. A systematic review was conducted, resulting in 158 studies designated to neuroimaging research. In total, 54 studies were included in this review using either frontal asymmetry or spectral power. The results were split into three main categories: resting frontal alpha asymmetry (N = 23), emotional induction and state-related frontal alpha asymmetry (N = 20), and spectral analysis (N = 16). Findings indicated that BAS was associated with enhanced left frontal asymmetry at baseline and during state-related paradigms. Findings for BIS were more inconsistent, especially at rest, suggesting that BIS, in particular, may require active engagement with the environment. Only 9 of the 54 papers included used the revised RST model, highlighting the need for more rRST research.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Psychophysiology
Creators: Heym, N., Sumich, A., Standen, B., Firth, J. and Fino, E.
Publisher: Wiley
Date: 1 May 2024
ISSN: 0048-5772
Rights: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 07 May 2024 08:46
Last Modified: 07 May 2024 08:46

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