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ERPs reveal subliminal processing of fearful faces

Kiss, Monika and Eimer, Martin (2008) ERPs reveal subliminal processing of fearful faces. Psychophysiology 45 (2), pp. 318-326. ISSN 0048-5772.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-8986.2007.00634.x

Abstract

To investigate whether facial expression is processed in the absence of conscious awareness, ERPs were recorded in a task in which participants had to identify the expression of masked fearful and neutral target faces. On supraliminal trials (200 ms target duration), in which identification performance was high, a sustained positivity to fearful versus neutral target faces started 140 ms after target face onset. On subliminal trials (8 ms target duration), identification performance was at chance level, but ERPs still showed systematic fear-specific effects. An early positivity to fearful target faces was present but smaller than on supraliminal trials. A subsequent enhanced N2 to fearful faces was only present for subliminal trials. In contrast, a P3 enhancement to fearful faces was observed on supraliminal but not subliminal trials. Results demonstrate rapid emotional expression processing in the absence of awareness.

Item Type: Article
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Awareness, emotion, fear, face expression, event-related potentials
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 05 Jan 2011 11:27
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:19
URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/2396

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