Worry: An electrocortical analysis

William R. Carter, Mark C. Johnson, Thomas D. Borkovec

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


Worry has been described as uncontrollable verbally-mediated analytic cognitive activity, or thoughts, concerning future events. To date, worry and the treatment of worry have been assessed primarily by self-report of cognitive activity. The current study assessed worriers and nonworriers during worry and a brief relaxation treatment using EEG alpha and beta measures. Worry was found to be associated with high, overall cortical activation as well as relatively greater left hemisphere activation. Progressive relaxation was associated with attenuation of worriers' left hemisphere asymmetric EEG activation. EEG alpha measures indicated less activation during and after progressive muscular relaxation than during a self-relaxation condition. Implications for theory and assessment of cognitive anxiety are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-204
Number of pages12
JournalAdvances in Behaviour Research and Therapy
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1986

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Worry: An electrocortical analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this