Dissociation between autonomic responding and verbal report in right and left hemisphere brain damage during anticipatory anxiety

Academic Article


  • Objective: To study the relationship between peripheral autonomic arousal and emotional experience. Background: Several theories of emotional experience suggest that this experience is, at least in part, related to feedback from the viscera and the autonomic nervous system. Method: To partially test this hypothesis and to learn if there are hemispheric asymmetries of emotional experience, we studied skin conductance responses (SCR) and verbal report in patients with right hemisphere damage (RHD), patients with left hemisphere damage (LHD), and normal control subjects during the anticipation of electric shocks. Results: During the shock condition, RHD and LHD subjects had smaller SCRs than did normal control subjects. Verbal report measures, however, revealed that subjects reported feeling less pleasant, more aroused, and less in control during the shock condition compared to the no-shock condition. Unlike the SCR results, the verbal report of emotional experience did not differ between the patients with RHD, patients with LHD, and normal control subjects. Conclusions: Emotional experience is not dependent upon activation of and feedback from the autonomic nervous system.
  • Authors

    Pubmed Id

  • 20720018
  • Author List

  • Slomine B; Bowers D; Heilman KM
  • Start Page

  • 143
  • End Page

  • 148
  • Volume

  • 12
  • Issue

  • 3