Behavioral Reactivity and Approach-Withdrawal Bias in Infancy

Amie Ashley Hane, Nathan A. Fox, Heather A. Henderson, Peter J. Marshall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

131 Scopus citations


Seven hundred seventy-nine infants were screened at 4 months of age for motor and emotional reactivity. At age 9 months, infants who showed extreme patterns of motor and negative (n = 75) or motor and positive (n = 73) reactivity and an unselected control group (n = 86) were administered the Laboratory Temperament Assessment Battery, and baseline electroencephalogram data were collected. Negatively reactive infants showed significantly more avoidance than positively reactive infants and displayed a pattern of right frontal electroencephalogram asymmetry. Positively reactive infants exhibited significantly more approach behavior than controls and exhibited a pattern of left frontal asymmetry. Results support the notion that approach-withdrawal bias underlies reactivity in infancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1491-1496
Number of pages6
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2008


  • approach-withdrawal bias
  • frontal EEG asymmetry
  • temperament

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies
  • Demography


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