Neurocognitive components of the behavioral inhibition and activation systems: Implications for theories of self-regulation

David M. Amodio, Sarah L. Master, Cindy M. Yee, Shelley E. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We examined the neurocognitive correlates of the Behavioral Inhibition and Behavioral Activation Systems (BIS/BAS) in an effort to clarify ambiguities concerning interpretations of BIS as reflecting inhibition versus avoidance. We hypothesized that self-reported BIS should relate to neural mechanisms associated with conflict monitoring, whereas self-reported BAS should be associated with neural correlates of approach motivation. Consistent with these predictions, higher self-reported BIS was uniquely related to the N2 event-related potential on No-Go trials of a Go/No-Go task, linking BIS with conflict monitoring and sensitivity to No-Go cues. Higher BAS was uniquely related to greater left-sided baseline frontal cortical asymmetry associated with approach orientation. Implications for theories of self-regulation involving conflict monitoring, cognitive control, and approach/avoidance motivation are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-19
Number of pages9
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008


  • Approach
  • Behavioral activation system
  • Behavioral inhibition system
  • Conflict monitoring
  • EEG
  • ERP
  • Error-related negativity
  • Frontal asymmetry
  • Inhibition
  • Motivation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Biological Psychiatry


Dive into the research topics of 'Neurocognitive components of the behavioral inhibition and activation systems: Implications for theories of self-regulation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this