Frontal asymmetry, dispositional affect, and physical activity in older adults

E. E. Hall, S. J. Petruzzello

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Physical activity has been consistently linked to better mental health greater positive affect and life satisfaction, less negative affect, anxiety, and depression (Petruzzello et al., 1991; McAuley and Rudolph, 1995). Brain activation patterns have been linked to dispositional affect: greater relative left anterior hemisphere activation relates to positive affect, and greater relative right anterior activation relates to negative affect (Davidson, 1992). In this study, measures of resting EEG frontal asymmetry, dispositional affect, and physical activity were obtained from 41 older adults. Frontal asymmetry significantly predicted positive affect. In the high active group (n = 21), frontal asymmetry significantly predicted affective valence and satisfaction with life; in the low active group (n = 20), it significantly predicted negative affect. Physical activity was also significantly related to better dispositional affect. These findings suggest that the relationship between frontal brain activity and dispositional affect is influenced by physical activity in older adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)76-90
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Aging and Physical Activity
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1999


  • Aging
  • Brain activation
  • EEG
  • Exercise

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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