New Research From Psychological Science

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Read about the latest research published in Psychological Science:

Are Orchids Left and Dandelions Right? Frontal Brain Activation Asymmetry and Its Sensitivity to Developmental Context

Paz Fortier, Ryan J. Van Lieshout, Jordana A. Waxman, Michael H. Boyle, Saroj Saigal, and Louis A. Schmidt

Does frontal asymmetry moderate the relationship between early birth environment and adult behavioral outcomes? Adults who had been of low or normal birth weight were assessed for resting EEG alpha asymmetry when they were between 22 and 26 years of age, and they completed behavioral self-report measures when they were between 30 and 35 years of age. The researchers found that among participants with left-frontal asymmetry, those of low birth weight had the most behavioral problems and those of normal birth weight had the least behavioral problems in adulthood. Participants with right-frontal asymmetry had moderate amounts of problem behavior in adulthood regardless of birth weight, suggesting that left-frontal asymmetry — but not right-frontal asymmetry — is associated with sensitivity to developmental context.

Embodied Effects of Conceptual Knowledge Continuously Perturb the Hand in Flight

Bernie C. Till, Michael E. J. Masson, Daniel N. Bub, and Peter F. Driessen  

Research has shown that viewing a manipulable object evokes cortical activity in the brain associated with hand actions related to the object’s form and function; however, researchers are still unsure whether this mental representation competes with subsequent motor actions. Participants viewed an image of an object that could be grasped with a vertical or a horizontal motion, and then their hand movements were tracked as they reached for an actual object requiring the same (congruent) or a different (incongruent) grasping movement. The researchers found that the participants’ hand movements were altered when they made an incongruent — but not a congruent — grasping movement, indicating that mental representations can compete with subsequent actions.