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Identification of angry faces in the attentional blink.

Maratos FA, Mogg K, Bradley BP - Cogn Emot (2008)

Bottom Line: To test this hypothesis, the present study used a modified version of the rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) paradigm to investigate the effect of emotional face stimuli on the attentional blink (AB).The target stimuli were schematic faces which depicted threatening (angry), positive or neutral facial expressions.These findings further support the proposal that, when there is competition for attentional resources, threat stimuli are given higher priority in processing compared with non-threatening stimuli.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: University of Southampton, Southampton, UK.

ABSTRACT
According to cognitive and neural theories of emotion, attentional processing of innate threat stimuli, such as angry facial expressions, is prioritised over neutral stimuli. To test this hypothesis, the present study used a modified version of the rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) paradigm to investigate the effect of emotional face stimuli on the attentional blink (AB). The target stimuli were schematic faces which depicted threatening (angry), positive or neutral facial expressions. Results showed that performance accuracy was enhanced (i.e., the AB was reduced) on trials in which the second target was an angry face, rather than a neutral face. Results extend previous research by demonstrating that angry faces reduce the AB, and that this effect is found for schematic facial expressions. These findings further support the proposal that, when there is competition for attentional resources, threat stimuli are given higher priority in processing compared with non-threatening stimuli.

No MeSH data available.


An example of a double-target trial in which T1 was a neutral face (N1) and T2 was a threat face.
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fig2: An example of a double-target trial in which T1 was a neutral face (N1) and T2 was a threat face.

Mentions: Four schematic faces were used as target stimuli: a threat face, a positive face and two neutral faces (see Figure 1). The two emotional faces and one of the neutral faces were the same as those used by Öhman et al. (2001): the threat face was their “angry” exemplar and the positive face was their “friendly” exemplar. The latter is referred to here as a “positive” face, as it has been described previously as both a “friendly” face and a “happy” face (Calvo & Esteves, 2005; Juth et al., 2005). All four face stimuli differed with respect to three main features; eyebrow, eye and mouth shape (e.g., when comparing the threat and positive faces, the mouth and eyes were inverted and the eyebrows switched). Two non-identical neutral faces were used to minimise potential effects of repetition blindness (i.e., reduced ability to detect the second of two identical items in a RSVP stream; Kanwisher, 1987). There were also 30 different distractor stimuli, which comprised the key features of each face stimulus in random positions and orientations (see Figure 2 for examples of distractor stimuli). All stimuli subtended avisual angle of 5.7° × 7.5° and were displayed on a black background at a viewing distance of 50 cm. Stimulus presentation was controlled by Millisecond software (www.millisecond.com). Each stimulus was presented for 128.5 ms using a 70 Hz refresh rate (i.e., each image was displayed for nine screen refreshes at a 70 Hz refresh rate resulting in a display time of 128.5 ms; these durations were determined in pilot work and checked with an oscilloscope).


Identification of angry faces in the attentional blink.

Maratos FA, Mogg K, Bradley BP - Cogn Emot (2008)

An example of a double-target trial in which T1 was a neutral face (N1) and T2 was a threat face.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2666369&req=5

fig2: An example of a double-target trial in which T1 was a neutral face (N1) and T2 was a threat face.
Mentions: Four schematic faces were used as target stimuli: a threat face, a positive face and two neutral faces (see Figure 1). The two emotional faces and one of the neutral faces were the same as those used by Öhman et al. (2001): the threat face was their “angry” exemplar and the positive face was their “friendly” exemplar. The latter is referred to here as a “positive” face, as it has been described previously as both a “friendly” face and a “happy” face (Calvo & Esteves, 2005; Juth et al., 2005). All four face stimuli differed with respect to three main features; eyebrow, eye and mouth shape (e.g., when comparing the threat and positive faces, the mouth and eyes were inverted and the eyebrows switched). Two non-identical neutral faces were used to minimise potential effects of repetition blindness (i.e., reduced ability to detect the second of two identical items in a RSVP stream; Kanwisher, 1987). There were also 30 different distractor stimuli, which comprised the key features of each face stimulus in random positions and orientations (see Figure 2 for examples of distractor stimuli). All stimuli subtended avisual angle of 5.7° × 7.5° and were displayed on a black background at a viewing distance of 50 cm. Stimulus presentation was controlled by Millisecond software (www.millisecond.com). Each stimulus was presented for 128.5 ms using a 70 Hz refresh rate (i.e., each image was displayed for nine screen refreshes at a 70 Hz refresh rate resulting in a display time of 128.5 ms; these durations were determined in pilot work and checked with an oscilloscope).

Bottom Line: To test this hypothesis, the present study used a modified version of the rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) paradigm to investigate the effect of emotional face stimuli on the attentional blink (AB).The target stimuli were schematic faces which depicted threatening (angry), positive or neutral facial expressions.These findings further support the proposal that, when there is competition for attentional resources, threat stimuli are given higher priority in processing compared with non-threatening stimuli.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: University of Southampton, Southampton, UK.

ABSTRACT
According to cognitive and neural theories of emotion, attentional processing of innate threat stimuli, such as angry facial expressions, is prioritised over neutral stimuli. To test this hypothesis, the present study used a modified version of the rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) paradigm to investigate the effect of emotional face stimuli on the attentional blink (AB). The target stimuli were schematic faces which depicted threatening (angry), positive or neutral facial expressions. Results showed that performance accuracy was enhanced (i.e., the AB was reduced) on trials in which the second target was an angry face, rather than a neutral face. Results extend previous research by demonstrating that angry faces reduce the AB, and that this effect is found for schematic facial expressions. These findings further support the proposal that, when there is competition for attentional resources, threat stimuli are given higher priority in processing compared with non-threatening stimuli.

No MeSH data available.