Emotional event-related potentials are reduced if negative pictures presented at fixation are unattended
2011 (English)In: Neuroscience Letters, ISSN 0304-3940, E-ISSN 1872-7972, Vol. 495, no 3, 178-182 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Viewing of emotional pictures elicits two event-related potentials (ERPs) to emotional versus neutral pictures: an early posterior negativity (EPN) and a late positive potential (LPP). Because it is unresolved whether these indexes of emotional processing are reduced to task-irrelevant pictures at fixation, negative and neutral pictures from the International Affective Picture Set (IAPS) were shown at fixation together with 6 letters that surrounded the pictures. In separate tasks, participants were instructed to attend either the pictures or the letters. When the pictures were task relevant, results showed an EPN and LPP. In contrast, when the pictures were task irrelevant, the EPN was eliminated and the LPP reduced. Performance was high in both tasks (hit rates > 87%), but somewhat better when the pictures were relevant. However, analyses showed no relationship between this performance difference and the differences in EPN and LPP between tasks. These results suggest that emotional processing of strong, negative pictures is sensitive to manipulations of attention even if the pictures are shown at fixation.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 495, no 3, 178-182 p.
emotion, attention, event-related potentials, EPN, LPP
Research subject Psychology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-68117DOI: 10.1016/j.neulet.2011.03.042ISI: 000291281200004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-68117DiVA: diva2:472295
authorCount :42012-01-032012-01-032012-02-03Bibliographically approved