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Attention modulates the processing of emotional expression triggered by foveal faces

Holmes, A. and Kiss, Monika and Eimer, Martin (2006) Attention modulates the processing of emotional expression triggered by foveal faces. Neuroscience Letters 394 (1), pp. 48-52. ISSN 0304-3940.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neulet.2005.10.002

Abstract

To investigate whether the processing of emotional expression for faces presented within foveal vision is modulated by spatial attention, event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded in response to stimulus arrays containing one fearful or neutral face at fixation, which was flanked by a pair of peripheral bilateral lines. When attention was focused on the central face, an enhanced positivity was elicited by fearful as compared to neutral faces. This effect started at 160 ms post-stimulus, and remained present for the remainder of the 700 ms analysis interval. When attention was directed away from the face towards the line pair, the initial phase of this emotional positivity remained present, but emotional expression effects beyond 220 ms post-stimulus were completely eliminated. These results demonstrate that when faces are presented foveally, the initial rapid stage of emotional expression processing is unaffected by attention. In contrast, attentional task instructions are effective in inhibiting later, more controlled stages of expression analysis.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright © 2005 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): emotional expression, event related potentials, fearful faces, foveal vision, spatial attention
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
Depositing User: Sandra Plummer
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2006
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:33
URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/412

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