Recent research has demonstrated that individual differences in approach motivation modulate attentional scope. In turn, approach and inhibition have been related to different neural systems that are associated with asymmetries in relative frontal activity (RFA). Here, we investigated whether such individual differences in asymmetric hemispheric activity during rest, and self-report measures of approach motivation (as measured by the behavioral inhibition system, BIS/behavioral activation system, BAS scales) would be predictive of the efficiency of attentional processing of global and local visual information, as indexed by event-related potentials (ERPs) and performance measures. In the reported experiment, participants performed a visual attention task in which they were required to either attend to the global shape or the local components of presented stimuli. Electroencephalogram was recorded during task performance and during an initial "resting state" measurement. The results showed that only the BAS-Reward Responsiveness subscale was associated with left RFA during rest, while BIS, BAS-Drive, and BAS-Fun Seeking were associated with more right-lateralized RFA. Importantly, left RFA during the "resting state" measurement was associated with increased P3 (right-lateralized) amplitudes and decreased P3 latencies on trials requiring a global focus. In turn, these ERPs were associated with enhanced performance on trials requiring a global focus. These results provide the first evidence for a positive association between left RFA during rest and increased efficiency of right-lateralized brain mechanisms that are involved in processing global information. © 2012 Federation of European Psychophysiology Societies.