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Tympanic Membrane Temperature, Hemispheric Activity, and Affect: Evidence for a Modest Relationship
Ruth E. Propper, Ph.D.; Ashley Januszewski, B.A.; Tad T. Brunyé, Ph.D.; Stephen D. Christman, Ph.D.
The Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences 2013;25:198-204. doi:10.1176/appi.neuropsych.12020027
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This work was supported by U.S. Army Contracts #W911QY-09-P-0567 and W911QY-10-P-0420. The opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and not necessarily of the U.S. Army.

From the Psychology Dept., Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ (REP), Psychology Dept., Merrimack College, North Andover, MA (AJ), Psychology Dept., Tufts University, Medford, MA, and U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, Natick, MA (TTB), Psychology Dept., University of Toledo, Toledo, OH (SDC).

Send correspondence to Dr. Propper, Montclair State University, Psychology Department; e-mail: propperr@mail.montclair.edu

Copyright © 2013 American Psychiatric Association

Received February 07, 2012; Revised May 12, 2012; Accepted September 20, 2012.


Tympanic membrane temperature (TMT) offers a methodologically simple and noninvasive means to provide a physiological measure of hemispheric activation, although the mechanisms by which it may be related to hemispheric activity are not completely known. Here, the authors examined TMT at baseline and after a mood-induction protocol. They replicate baseline associations between increased absolute difference between left and right TMT and increased anger, and found evidence for a link between increased TMT and increased ipsilateral hemispheric activation after mood-induction. They also found tentative evidence for the existence of right-lateralized emotional hyperthermia after mood-induction.

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TABLE 1.Demographic Information as a Function of NC and MIC Condition
Table Footer Note

NC: Control condition; MIC: mood-induction condition. Age values are mean (standard deviation).

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TABLE 2.TMT Variable (mean, standard error; °C) as a Function of MIC and Time
Table Footer Note

MIC: mood-induction condition; TMT: tympanic membrane temperature. Last four columns show amount of difference (r–l) and absolute difference (ar–l) in °C from T1 to T2.



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