Relationship between arousal and activation, and sensation seeking

Bert De Brabander*, Christophe Boone, Pol Gerits, Arjen Van Witteloostuijn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In previous experiments we tested the paradigm (De Brabander, Perceptual and Motor Skills, 69, 75-82, 1988) that phasic arousal reactions are reflected by retarded reactions after an unexpected preparatory signal in a visuospatial (right hemisphere) discrimination reaction time task. Phasic activation responses are shown by accelerated reactions after the preparatory signals in a semantic (left hemisphere) task. In the present experiment the results do again validate the paradigm. The main purpose of the study was to use this paradigm in order to investigate whether sensation seeking is related to more intense phasic arousal reactions (arousability) or to more pronounced phasic activation responses (activatability) or to both. At first sight the results indicate that only arousability is related to sensation seeking, especially boredom susceptibility. Other possible explanations of the results are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-384
Number of pages12
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1995
Externally publishedYes


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