Resting prefrontal cortex asymmetry and communication apprehension, verbal aggression, and other social interaction constructs: A meta-analytic review

Michelle E. Pence, Alan D. Heisel, Amber Reinhart, Yan Tian, Michael J. Beatty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


A large corpus of neuroscience research suggests that resting levels of asymmetry in the anterior region of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) underlies the ability to self-regulate emotions and behaviors related to affective traits. Several studies have specifically linked resting asymmetry in the PFC to variables of interest to interpersonal communication scholars. These variables include verbal aggression, shyness and communication apprehension, social competence, sociability, perspective-taking, and interpersonal defensiveness. Meta-analysis of the studies examining resting asymmetry in the PFC and these other variables indicated that (a) an average sample-weighted (attenuated) correlation of .437 (average r=.447 when corrected for attenuation) and (b) all of the variance in r was attributable to sampling error.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-295
Number of pages9
JournalCommunication Research Reports
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2011



  • Asymmetry Anterior Cortex
  • Electroencephalograph
  • Interpersonal Communication
  • Meta-Analysis
  • PFC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication

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