Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Cynthia R. Cimino, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Geoffrey Potts, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Douglas Rohrer, Ph.D.


affect, BIS/BAS, ERP, LPP, Motivation


Emotional material is better remembered than neutral material and some suggest this is reflected in different Event Related potentials (ERPs) to affective stimuli by valence. Inconsistent results may be due to individual differences, specifically the behavioral inhibition/behavioral activation (BIS/BAS) motivational system. This study sought to examine the relationship between motivational systems, emotional memory, and psychophysiological response to emotional pictures. While using EEG recording, subjects were shown 150 affective pictures and given a recall and yes/no recognition task after a 20 and 30-minute delay, respectively. Overall, differences were found by valence, but not consistently based on individual trait. Controlling for arousal and mood, results did not support previous research that suggested high BIS was more responsive to negative pictures while higher BAS was more responsive to positive images. The role of ERP methodology and arousal are discussed, along with future directions.

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Psychology Commons