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Encouraging expressions affect the brain and alter visual attention.

Martín-Loeches M, Sel A, Casado P, Jiménez L, Castellanos L - PLoS ONE (2009)

Bottom Line: Very often, encouraging or discouraging expressions are used in competitive contexts, such as sports practice, aiming at provoking an emotional reaction on the listener and, consequently, an effect on subsequent cognition and/or performance.To fill this gap, we studied the effects of encouraging, discouraging, and neutral expressions on event-related brain electrical activity during a visual selective attention task in which targets were determined by location, shape, and color.It can be stated, therefore, that encouraging expressions, as those used in sport practice, as well as in many other contexts and situations, do seem to be efficient in exerting emotional reactions and measurable effects on cognition.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Center for Human Evolution and Behavior, UCM-ISCIII, Madrid, Spain. mmartinloeches@edu.ucm.es

ABSTRACT

Background: Very often, encouraging or discouraging expressions are used in competitive contexts, such as sports practice, aiming at provoking an emotional reaction on the listener and, consequently, an effect on subsequent cognition and/or performance. However, the actual efficiency of these expressions has not been tested scientifically.

Methodology/principal findings: To fill this gap, we studied the effects of encouraging, discouraging, and neutral expressions on event-related brain electrical activity during a visual selective attention task in which targets were determined by location, shape, and color. Although the expressions preceded the attentional task, both encouraging and discouraging messages elicited a similar long-lasting brain emotional response present during the visuospatial task. In addition, encouraging expressions were able to alter the customary working pattern of the visual attention system for shape selection in the attended location, increasing the P1 and the SP modulations while simultaneously fading away the SN.

Conclusions/significance: This was interpreted as an enhancement of the attentional processes for shape in the attended location after an encouraging expression. It can be stated, therefore, that encouraging expressions, as those used in sport practice, as well as in many other contexts and situations, do seem to be efficient in exerting emotional reactions and measurable effects on cognition.

Show MeSH
Effects of the expressions interacting with visual selective attention.ERPs to stimuli of the visuospatial task as a function of the type of preceding expression. Effects of the expressions interacting with visual selective attention. Top. ERP difference waveforms at a selection of electrodes. Difference waves were computed subtracting the waveforms to attended minus unattended shape, always in the attended location. Bottom. Difference maps of these effects in the 124–148 (P1) and 204–232 (SN and SP) time windows.
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pone-0005920-g003: Effects of the expressions interacting with visual selective attention.ERPs to stimuli of the visuospatial task as a function of the type of preceding expression. Effects of the expressions interacting with visual selective attention. Top. ERP difference waveforms at a selection of electrodes. Difference waves were computed subtracting the waveforms to attended minus unattended shape, always in the attended location. Bottom. Difference maps of these effects in the 124–148 (P1) and 204–232 (SN and SP) time windows.

Mentions: The overall analyses revealed significant interaction of type of expression, location, shape, and electrode in the time windows from 120 to 192 and from 216 to 288 ms, comprising the P1, SN and SP components (Fs(2,46) between 3.51 and 7.19, ps between <.05 and <.01). No other significant effects for the interactions between type of expression and attentional features were observed. As can be seen in Figure 3, the P1 component was sensitive to experimental manipulations. Comparing conditions, an enhancement of the P1 component was observed to the attended shape in the attended location after the positive expressions. This was supported by significant effects of the type of expression by electrode by location by shape (F(2,46) = 1.8, p<.05) in the time window established for the P1 (124–148 ms). Even though, post-hoc statistical analyses did not support a difference between types of expressions at the O1 electrode, where this effect was more apparent (F(1,23) = between 1.03 and 2.45, p always >.1).


Encouraging expressions affect the brain and alter visual attention.

Martín-Loeches M, Sel A, Casado P, Jiménez L, Castellanos L - PLoS ONE (2009)

Effects of the expressions interacting with visual selective attention.ERPs to stimuli of the visuospatial task as a function of the type of preceding expression. Effects of the expressions interacting with visual selective attention. Top. ERP difference waveforms at a selection of electrodes. Difference waves were computed subtracting the waveforms to attended minus unattended shape, always in the attended location. Bottom. Difference maps of these effects in the 124–148 (P1) and 204–232 (SN and SP) time windows.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2692003&req=5

pone-0005920-g003: Effects of the expressions interacting with visual selective attention.ERPs to stimuli of the visuospatial task as a function of the type of preceding expression. Effects of the expressions interacting with visual selective attention. Top. ERP difference waveforms at a selection of electrodes. Difference waves were computed subtracting the waveforms to attended minus unattended shape, always in the attended location. Bottom. Difference maps of these effects in the 124–148 (P1) and 204–232 (SN and SP) time windows.
Mentions: The overall analyses revealed significant interaction of type of expression, location, shape, and electrode in the time windows from 120 to 192 and from 216 to 288 ms, comprising the P1, SN and SP components (Fs(2,46) between 3.51 and 7.19, ps between <.05 and <.01). No other significant effects for the interactions between type of expression and attentional features were observed. As can be seen in Figure 3, the P1 component was sensitive to experimental manipulations. Comparing conditions, an enhancement of the P1 component was observed to the attended shape in the attended location after the positive expressions. This was supported by significant effects of the type of expression by electrode by location by shape (F(2,46) = 1.8, p<.05) in the time window established for the P1 (124–148 ms). Even though, post-hoc statistical analyses did not support a difference between types of expressions at the O1 electrode, where this effect was more apparent (F(1,23) = between 1.03 and 2.45, p always >.1).

Bottom Line: Very often, encouraging or discouraging expressions are used in competitive contexts, such as sports practice, aiming at provoking an emotional reaction on the listener and, consequently, an effect on subsequent cognition and/or performance.To fill this gap, we studied the effects of encouraging, discouraging, and neutral expressions on event-related brain electrical activity during a visual selective attention task in which targets were determined by location, shape, and color.It can be stated, therefore, that encouraging expressions, as those used in sport practice, as well as in many other contexts and situations, do seem to be efficient in exerting emotional reactions and measurable effects on cognition.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Center for Human Evolution and Behavior, UCM-ISCIII, Madrid, Spain. mmartinloeches@edu.ucm.es

ABSTRACT

Background: Very often, encouraging or discouraging expressions are used in competitive contexts, such as sports practice, aiming at provoking an emotional reaction on the listener and, consequently, an effect on subsequent cognition and/or performance. However, the actual efficiency of these expressions has not been tested scientifically.

Methodology/principal findings: To fill this gap, we studied the effects of encouraging, discouraging, and neutral expressions on event-related brain electrical activity during a visual selective attention task in which targets were determined by location, shape, and color. Although the expressions preceded the attentional task, both encouraging and discouraging messages elicited a similar long-lasting brain emotional response present during the visuospatial task. In addition, encouraging expressions were able to alter the customary working pattern of the visual attention system for shape selection in the attended location, increasing the P1 and the SP modulations while simultaneously fading away the SN.

Conclusions/significance: This was interpreted as an enhancement of the attentional processes for shape in the attended location after an encouraging expression. It can be stated, therefore, that encouraging expressions, as those used in sport practice, as well as in many other contexts and situations, do seem to be efficient in exerting emotional reactions and measurable effects on cognition.

Show MeSH