Increased Anger is Associated with Increased Hemispheric Asymmetry: Support for Anger-Tympanic Membrane Relationships

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We recently reported that increased anger/hostility is associated with an increased imbalance of hemispheric activity, regardless of which particular hemisphere is more active (as indicated by increased absolute difference in temperature between the right and left tympanic membrane (ar-lTMT; Propper et al., J Nerv Ment Dis 198:691-694, 2010). In that study, we examined baseline levels of emotion and ar-lTMT; in this study, we used sustained unilateral gaze to manipulate hemispheric activity to further investigate the nature of the relationship between anger, ar-lTMT, and hemispheric imbalance. Both rightward (significantly) and leftward (modestly) sustained unilateral gaze increased anger, providing further evidence that anger is associated with the asymmetry of hemispheric activation. We also support our previous work demonstrating a relationship between increased anger and increased ar-lTMT. This is the second study supporting the use of ar-lTMT as a simple and convenient measure of hemispheric activation and as an objective correlate of anger.



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