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Sample records for emotional visual stimuli

  1. Gender differences in identifying emotions from auditory and visual stimuli.

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    Waaramaa, Teija

    2017-12-01

    The present study focused on gender differences in emotion identification from auditory and visual stimuli produced by two male and two female actors. Differences in emotion identification from nonsense samples, language samples and prolonged vowels were investigated. It was also studied whether auditory stimuli can convey the emotional content of speech without visual stimuli, and whether visual stimuli can convey the emotional content of speech without auditory stimuli. The aim was to get a better knowledge of vocal attributes and a more holistic understanding of the nonverbal communication of emotion. Females tended to be more accurate in emotion identification than males. Voice quality parameters played a role in emotion identification in both genders. The emotional content of the samples was best conveyed by nonsense sentences, better than by prolonged vowels or shared native language of the speakers and participants. Thus, vocal non-verbal communication tends to affect the interpretation of emotion even in the absence of language. The emotional stimuli were better recognized from visual stimuli than auditory stimuli by both genders. Visual information about speech may not be connected to the language; instead, it may be based on the human ability to understand the kinetic movements in speech production more readily than the characteristics of the acoustic cues.

  2. Stress Induction and Visual Working Memory Performance: The Effects of Emotional and Non-Emotional Stimuli

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    Zahra Khayyer

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Background Some studies have shown working memory impairment following stressful situations. Also, researchers have found that working memory performance depends on many different factors such as emotional load of stimuli and gender. Objectives The present study aimed to determine the effects of stress induction on visual working memory (VWM performance among female and male university students. Methods This quasi-experimental research employed a posttest with only control group design (within-group study. A total of 62 university students (32 males and 30 females were randomly selected and allocated to experimental and control groups (mean age of 23.73. Using cold presser test (CPT, stress was induced and then, an n-back task was implemented to evaluate visual working memory function (such as the number of true items, time reactions, and the number of wrong items through emotional and non-emotional pictures. 100 pictures were selected from the international affective picture system (IASP with different valences. Results Results showed that stress impaired different visual working memory functions (P < 0.002 for true scores, P < 0.001 for reaction time, and P < 0.002 for wrong items. Conclusions In general, stress significantly decreases the VWM performances. On the one hand, females were strongly impressed by stress more than males and on the other hand, the VWM performance was better for emotional stimuli than non-emotional stimuli.

  3. Visual attention and emotional reactions to negative stimuli: The role of age and cognitive reappraisal.

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    Wirth, Maria; Isaacowitz, Derek M; Kunzmann, Ute

    2017-09-01

    Prominent life span theories of emotion propose that older adults attend less to negative emotional information and report less negative emotional reactions to the same information than younger adults do. Although parallel age differences in affective information processing and age differences in emotional reactivity have been proposed, they have rarely been investigated within the same study. In this eye-tracking study, we tested age differences in visual attention and emotional reactivity, using standardized emotionally negative stimuli. Additionally, we investigated age differences in the association between visual attention and emotional reactivity, and whether these are moderated by cognitive reappraisal. Older as compared with younger adults showed fixation patterns away from negative image content, while they reacted with greater negative emotions. The association between visual attention and emotional reactivity differed by age group and positive reappraisal. Younger adults felt better when they attended more to negative content rather than less, but this relationship only held for younger adults who did not attach a positive meaning to the negative situation. For older adults, overall, there was no significant association between visual attention and emotional reactivity. However, for older adults who did not use positive reappraisal, decreases in attention to negative information were associated with less negative emotions. The present findings point to a complex relationship between younger and older adults' visual attention and emotional reactions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  4. The selective processing of emotional visual stimuli while detecting auditory targets: an ERP analysis.

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    Schupp, Harald T; Stockburger, Jessica; Bublatzky, Florian; Junghöfer, Markus; Weike, Almut I; Hamm, Alfons O

    2008-09-16

    Event-related potential studies revealed an early posterior negativity (EPN) for emotional compared to neutral pictures. Exploring the emotion-attention relationship, a previous study observed that a primary visual discrimination task interfered with the emotional modulation of the EPN component. To specify the locus of interference, the present study assessed the fate of selective visual emotion processing while attention is directed towards the auditory modality. While simply viewing a rapid and continuous stream of pleasant, neutral, and unpleasant pictures in one experimental condition, processing demands of a concurrent auditory target discrimination task were systematically varied in three further experimental conditions. Participants successfully performed the auditory task as revealed by behavioral performance and selected event-related potential components. Replicating previous results, emotional pictures were associated with a larger posterior negativity compared to neutral pictures. Of main interest, increasing demands of the auditory task did not modulate the selective processing of emotional visual stimuli. With regard to the locus of interference, selective emotion processing as indexed by the EPN does not seem to reflect shared processing resources of visual and auditory modality.

  5. Effects of facial emotion recognition remediation on visual scanning of novel face stimuli.

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    Marsh, Pamela J; Luckett, Gemma; Russell, Tamara; Coltheart, Max; Green, Melissa J

    2012-11-01

    Previous research shows that emotion recognition in schizophrenia can be improved with targeted remediation that draws attention to important facial features (eyes, nose, mouth). Moreover, the effects of training have been shown to last for up to one month after training. The aim of this study was to investigate whether improved emotion recognition of novel faces is associated with concomitant changes in visual scanning of these same novel facial expressions. Thirty-nine participants with schizophrenia received emotion recognition training using Ekman's Micro-Expression Training Tool (METT), with emotion recognition and visual scanpath (VSP) recordings to face stimuli collected simultaneously. Baseline ratings of interpersonal and cognitive functioning were also collected from all participants. Post-METT training, participants showed changes in foveal attention to the features of facial expressions of emotion not used in METT training, which were generally consistent with the information about important features from the METT. In particular, there were changes in how participants looked at the features of facial expressions of emotion surprise, disgust, fear, happiness, and neutral, demonstrating that improved emotion recognition is paralleled by changes in the way participants with schizophrenia viewed novel facial expressions of emotion. However, there were overall decreases in foveal attention to sad and neutral faces that indicate more intensive instruction might be needed for these faces during training. Most importantly, the evidence shows that participant gender may affect training outcomes. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Effects of emotional valence and three-dimensionality of visual stimuli on brain activation: an fMRI study.

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    Dores, A R; Almeida, I; Barbosa, F; Castelo-Branco, M; Monteiro, L; Reis, M; de Sousa, L; Caldas, A Castro

    2013-01-01

    Examining changes in brain activation linked with emotion-inducing stimuli is essential to the study of emotions. Due to the ecological potential of techniques such as virtual reality (VR), inspection of whether brain activation in response to emotional stimuli can be modulated by the three-dimensional (3D) properties of the images is important. The current study sought to test whether the activation of brain areas involved in the emotional processing of scenarios of different valences can be modulated by 3D. Therefore, the focus was made on the interaction effect between emotion-inducing stimuli of different emotional valences (pleasant, unpleasant and neutral valences) and visualization types (2D, 3D). However, main effects were also analyzed. The effect of emotional valence and visualization types and their interaction were analyzed through a 3 × 2 repeated measures ANOVA. Post-hoc t-tests were performed under a ROI-analysis approach. The results show increased brain activation for the 3D affective-inducing stimuli in comparison with the same stimuli in 2D scenarios, mostly in cortical and subcortical regions that are related to emotional processing, in addition to visual processing regions. This study has the potential of clarify brain mechanisms involved in the processing of emotional stimuli (scenarios' valence) and their interaction with three-dimensionality.

  7. Altered processing of visual emotional stimuli in posttraumatic stress disorder: an event-related potential study.

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    Saar-Ashkenazy, Rotem; Shalev, Hadar; Kanthak, Magdalena K; Guez, Jonathan; Friedman, Alon; Cohen, Jonathan E

    2015-08-30

    Patients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) display abnormal emotional processing and bias towards emotional content. Most neurophysiological studies in PTSD found higher amplitudes of event-related potentials (ERPs) in response to trauma-related visual content. Here we aimed to characterize brain electrical activity in PTSD subjects in response to non-trauma-related emotion-laden pictures (positive, neutral and negative). A combined behavioral-ERP study was conducted in 14 severe PTSD patients and 14 controls. Response time in PTSD patients was slower compared with that in controls, irrespective to emotional valence. In both PTSD and controls, response time to negative pictures was slower compared with that to neutral or positive pictures. Upon ranking, both control and PTSD subjects similarly discriminated between pictures with different emotional valences. ERP analysis revealed three distinctive components (at ~300, ~600 and ~1000 ms post-stimulus onset) for emotional valence in control subjects. In contrast, PTSD patients displayed a similar brain response across all emotional categories, resembling the response of controls to negative stimuli. We interpret these findings as a brain-circuit response tendency towards negative overgeneralization in PTSD. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. The selective processing of emotional visual stimuli while detecting auditory targets : An ERP analysis

    OpenAIRE

    Schupp, Harald Thomas; Stockburger, Jessica; Bublatzky, Florian; Junghöfer, Markus; Weike, Almut I.; Hamm, Alfons O.

    2008-01-01

    Event-related potential studies revealed an early posterior negativity (EPN) for emotional compared to neutral pictures. Exploring the emotion-attention relationship, a previous study observed that a primary visual discrimination task interfered with the emotional modulation of the EPN component. To specify the locus of interference, the present study assessed the fate of selective visual emotion processing while attention is directed towards the auditory modality. While simply viewing a rapi...

  9. Gender differences in the processing of standard emotional visual stimuli: integrating ERP and fMRI results

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    Yang, Lei; Tian, Jie; Wang, Xiaoxiang; Hu, Jin

    2005-04-01

    The comprehensive understanding of human emotion processing needs consideration both in the spatial distribution and the temporal sequencing of neural activity. The aim of our work is to identify brain regions involved in emotional recognition as well as to follow the time sequence in the millisecond-range resolution. The effect of activation upon visual stimuli in different gender by International Affective Picture System (IAPS) has been examined. Hemodynamic and electrophysiological responses were measured in the same subjects. Both fMRI and ERP study were employed in an event-related study. fMRI have been obtained with 3.0 T Siemens Magnetom whole-body MRI scanner. 128-channel ERP data were recorded using an EGI system. ERP is sensitive to millisecond changes in mental activity, but the source localization and timing is limited by the ill-posed 'inversed' problem. We try to investigate the ERP source reconstruction problem in this study using fMRI constraint. We chose ICA as a pre-processing step of ERP source reconstruction to exclude the artifacts and provide a prior estimate of the number of dipoles. The results indicate that male and female show differences in neural mechanism during emotion visual stimuli.

  10. The influence of emotion on keyboard typing: an experimental study using visual stimuli.

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    Lee, Po-Ming; Tsui, Wei-Hsuan; Hsiao, Tzu-Chien

    2014-06-20

    Emotion recognition technology plays the essential role of enhancement in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). In recent years, a novel approach for emotion recognition has been reported, which is by keystroke dynamics. This approach can be considered to be rather desirable in HCI because the data used is rather non-intrusive and easy to obtain. However, there were only limited investigations about the phenomenon itself in previous studies. This study aims to examine the source of variance in keystroke typing patterns caused by emotions. A controlled experiment to collect subjects' keystroke data in different emotional states induced by International Affective Picture System (IAPS) was conducted. Two-way Valence (3) × Arousal (3) ANOVAs were used to examine the collected dataset. The results of the experiment indicate that the effect of emotion is significant (pemotional effect is small, compare to the individual variability. Our findings support the conclusion that the keystroke duration, keystroke latency, and also the accuracy rate of typing, are influenced by emotional states. Notably, the finding about the size of effect suggests that the accuracy rate of the emotion recognition could be further improved if personalized models are utilized. On the other hand, the finding also provides an explanation of why real-world applications which authenticate the identity of users by monitoring keystrokes may not be interfered by the emotional states of users. The experiment was conducted using standard instruments and hence is expected to be highly reproducible.

  11. Affective Overload: The Effect of Emotive Visual Stimuli on Target Vocabulary Retrieval

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    Çetin, Yakup; Griffiths, Carol; Özel, Zeynep Ebrar Yetkiner; Kinay, Hüseyin

    2016-01-01

    There has been considerable interest in cognitive load in recent years, but the effect of affective load and its relationship to mental functioning has not received as much attention. In order to investigate the effects of affective stimuli on cognitive function as manifest in the ability to remember foreign language vocabulary, two groups of…

  12. Emotion attribution to basic parametric static and dynamic stimuli

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Visch, V.; Goudbeek, M.B.; Cohn, J.; Nijholt, A.; Pantic, P.

    2009-01-01

    The following research investigates the effect of basic visual stimuli on the attribution of basic emotions by the viewer. In an empirical study (N = 33) we used two groups of visually minimal expressive stimuli: dynamic and static. The dynamic stimuli consisted of an animated circle moving

  13. Attentional Capture by Emotional Stimuli Is Modulated by Semantic Processing

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    Huang, Yang-Ming; Baddeley, Alan; Young, Andrew W.

    2008-01-01

    The attentional blink paradigm was used to examine whether emotional stimuli always capture attention. The processing requirement for emotional stimuli in a rapid sequential visual presentation stream was manipulated to investigate the circumstances under which emotional distractors capture attention, as reflected in an enhanced attentional blink…

  14. Effects of Unilateral Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation of Left Prefrontal Cortex on Processing and Memory of Emotional Visual Stimuli.

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    Stefania Balzarotti

    Full Text Available The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC is generally thought to be involved in affect and emotional processing; however, the specific contribution of each hemisphere continues to be debated. In the present study, we employed unilateral tDCS to test the unique contribution of left DLPFC in the encoding and retrieval of emotional stimuli in healthy subjects. Forty-two right handed undergraduate students received either anodal, cathodal or sham stimulation of left DLPFC while viewing neutral, pleasant, and unpleasant pictures. After completing a filler task, participants were asked to remember as many pictures as possible. Results showed that participants were able to remember a larger amount of emotional (both pleasant and unpleasant pictures than of neutral ones, regardless of the type of tDCS condition. Participants who received anodal stimulation recalled a significantly higher number of pleasant images than participants in the sham and cathodal conditions, while no differences emerged in the recall of neutral and unpleasant pictures. We conclude that our results provide some support to the role of left prefrontal cortex in the encoding and retrieval of pleasant stimuli.

  15. Effects of Unilateral Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation of Left Prefrontal Cortex on Processing and Memory of Emotional Visual Stimuli.

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    Balzarotti, Stefania; Colombo, Barbara

    2016-01-01

    The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) is generally thought to be involved in affect and emotional processing; however, the specific contribution of each hemisphere continues to be debated. In the present study, we employed unilateral tDCS to test the unique contribution of left DLPFC in the encoding and retrieval of emotional stimuli in healthy subjects. Forty-two right handed undergraduate students received either anodal, cathodal or sham stimulation of left DLPFC while viewing neutral, pleasant, and unpleasant pictures. After completing a filler task, participants were asked to remember as many pictures as possible. Results showed that participants were able to remember a larger amount of emotional (both pleasant and unpleasant) pictures than of neutral ones, regardless of the type of tDCS condition. Participants who received anodal stimulation recalled a significantly higher number of pleasant images than participants in the sham and cathodal conditions, while no differences emerged in the recall of neutral and unpleasant pictures. We conclude that our results provide some support to the role of left prefrontal cortex in the encoding and retrieval of pleasant stimuli.

  16. Auditory Emotional Cues Enhance Visual Perception

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    Zeelenberg, Rene; Bocanegra, Bruno R.

    2010-01-01

    Recent studies show that emotional stimuli impair performance to subsequently presented neutral stimuli. Here we show a cross-modal perceptual enhancement caused by emotional cues. Auditory cue words were followed by a visually presented neutral target word. Two-alternative forced-choice identification of the visual target was improved by…

  17. Instructed fear stimuli bias visual attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Deltomme, Berre; Mertens, G.; Tibboel, Helen; Braem, Senne

    We investigated whether stimuli merely instructed to be fear-relevant can bias visual attention, even when the fear relation was never experienced before. Participants performed a dot-probe task with pictures of naturally fear-relevant (snake or spider) or -irrelevant (bird or butterfly) stimuli.

  18. Affective and physiological correlates of the perception of unimodal and bimodal emotional stimuli.

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    Rosa, Pedro J; Oliveira, Jorge; Alghazzawi, Daniyal; Fardoun, Habib; Gamito, Pedro

    2017-08-01

    Despite the multisensory nature of perception, previous research on emotions has been focused on unimodal emotional cues with visual stimuli. To the best of our knowledge, there is no evidence on the extent to which incongruent emotional cues from visual and auditory sensory channels affect pupil size. To investigate the effects of audiovisual emotional information perception on the physiological and affective response, but also to determine the impact of mismatched cues in emotional perception on these physiological indexes. Pupil size, electrodermal activity and affective subjective responses were recorded while 30 participants were exposed to visual and auditory stimuli with varied emotional content in three different experimental conditions: pictures and sounds presented alone (unimodal), emotionally matched audio-visual stimuli (bimodal congruent) and emotionally mismatched audio-visual stimuli (bimodal incongruent). The data revealed no effect of emotional incongruence on physiological and affective responses. On the other hand, pupil size covaried with skin conductance response (SCR), but the subjective experience was partially dissociated from autonomic responses. Emotional stimuli are able to trigger physiological responses regardless of valence, sensory modality or level of emotional congruence.

  19. Positive mood broadens visual attention to positive stimuli.

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    Wadlinger, Heather A; Isaacowitz, Derek M

    2006-03-01

    In an attempt to investigate the impact of positive emotions on visual attention within the context of Fredrickson's (1998) broaden-and-build model, eye tracking was used in two studies to measure visual attentional preferences of college students (n=58, n=26) to emotional pictures. Half of each sample experienced induced positive mood immediately before viewing slides of three similarly-valenced images, in varying central-peripheral arrays. Attentional breadth was determined by measuring the percentage viewing time to peripheral images as well as by the number of visual saccades participants made per slide. Consistent with Fredrickson's theory, the first study showed that individuals induced into positive mood fixated more on peripheral stimuli than did control participants; however, this only held true for highly-valenced positive stimuli. Participants under induced positive mood also made more frequent saccades for slides of neutral and positive valence. A second study showed that these effects were not simply due to differences in emotional arousal between stimuli. Selective attentional broadening to positive stimuli may act both to facilitate later building of resources as well as to maintain current positive affective states.

  20. Misremembering emotion: Inductive category effects for complex emotional stimuli.

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    Corbin, Jonathan C; Crawford, L Elizabeth; Vavra, Dylan T

    2017-07-01

    Memories of objects are biased toward what is typical of the category to which they belong. Prior research on memory for emotional facial expressions has demonstrated a bias towards an emotional expression prototype (e.g., slightly happy faces are remembered as happier). We investigate an alternate source of bias in memory for emotional expressions - the central tendency bias. The central tendency bias skews reconstruction of a memory trace towards the center of the distribution for a particular attribute. This bias has been attributed to a Bayesian combination of an imprecise memory for a particular object with prior information about its category. Until now, studies examining the central tendency bias have focused on simple stimuli. We extend this work to socially relevant, complex, emotional facial expressions. We morphed facial expressions on a continuum from sad to happy. Different ranges of emotion were used in four experiments in which participants viewed individual expressions and, after a variable delay, reproduced each face by adjusting a morph to match it. Estimates were biased toward the center of the presented stimulus range, and the bias increased at longer memory delays, consistent with the Bayesian prediction that as trace memory loses precision, category knowledge is given more weight. The central tendency effect persisted within and across emotion categories (sad, neutral, and happy). This article expands the scope of work on inductive category effects to memory for complex, emotional stimuli.

  1. Beyond arousal and valence: the importance of the biological versus social relevance of emotional stimuli.

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    Sakaki, Michiko; Niki, Kazuhisa; Mather, Mara

    2012-03-01

    The present study addressed the hypothesis that emotional stimuli relevant to survival or reproduction (biologically emotional stimuli) automatically affect cognitive processing (e.g., attention, memory), while those relevant to social life (socially emotional stimuli) require elaborative processing to modulate attention and memory. Results of our behavioral studies showed that (1) biologically emotional images hold attention more strongly than do socially emotional images, (2) memory for biologically emotional images was enhanced even with limited cognitive resources, but (3) memory for socially emotional images was enhanced only when people had sufficient cognitive resources at encoding. Neither images' subjective arousal nor their valence modulated these patterns. A subsequent functional magnetic resonance imaging study revealed that biologically emotional images induced stronger activity in the visual cortex and greater functional connectivity between the amygdala and visual cortex than did socially emotional images. These results suggest that the interconnection between the amygdala and visual cortex supports enhanced attention allocation to biological stimuli. In contrast, socially emotional images evoked greater activity in the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) and yielded stronger functional connectivity between the amygdala and MPFC than did biological images. Thus, it appears that emotional processing of social stimuli involves elaborative processing requiring frontal lobe activity.

  2. Emotional stimuli and motor conversion disorder

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Voon, V.; Brezing, C.; Gallea, C.; Ameli, R.; Roelofs, K.; LaFrance, W.C.; Hallett, M.

    2010-01-01

    Conversion disorder is characterized by neurological signs and symptoms related to an underlying psychological issue. Amygdala activity to affective stimuli is well characterized in healthy volunteers with greater amygdala activity to both negative and positive stimuli relative to neutral stimuli,

  3. Happiness takes you right: the effect of emotional stimuli on line bisection.

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    Cattaneo, Zaira; Lega, Carlotta; Boehringer, Jana; Gallucci, Marcello; Girelli, Luisa; Carbon, Claus-Christian

    2014-01-01

    Emotion recognition is mediated by a complex network of cortical and subcortical areas, with the two hemispheres likely being differently involved in processing positive and negative emotions. As results on valence-dependent hemispheric specialisation are quite inconsistent, we carried out three experiments with emotional stimuli with a task being sensitive to measure specific hemispheric processing. Participants were required to bisect visual lines that were delimited by emotional face flankers, or to haptically bisect rods while concurrently listening to emotional vocal expressions. We found that prolonged (but not transient) exposition to concurrent happy stimuli significantly shifted the bisection bias to the right compared to both sad and neutral stimuli, indexing a greater involvement of the left hemisphere in processing of positively connoted stimuli. No differences between sad and neutral stimuli were observed across the experiments. In sum, our data provide consistent evidence in favour of a greater involvement of the left hemisphere in processing positive emotions and suggest that (prolonged) exposure to stimuli expressing happiness significantly affects allocation of (spatial) attentional resources, regardless of the sensory (visual/auditory) modality in which the emotion is perceived and space is explored (visual/haptic).

  4. Brain response to visual sexual stimuli in homosexual pedophiles.

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    Schiffer, Boris; Krueger, Tillmann; Paul, Thomas; de Greiff, Armin; Forsting, Michael; Leygraf, Norbert; Schedlowski, Manfred; Gizewski, Elke

    2008-01-01

    The neurobiological mechanisms of deviant sexual preferences such as pedophilia are largely unknown. The objective of this study was to analyze whether brain activation patterns of homosexual pedophiles differed from those of a nonpedophile homosexual control group during visual sexual stimulation. A consecutive sample of 11 pedophile forensic inpatients exclusively attracted to boys and 12 age-matched homosexual control participants from a comparable socioeconomic stratum underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging during a visual sexual stimulation procedure that used sexually stimulating and emotionally neutral photographs. Sexual arousal was assessed according to a subjective rating scale. In contrast to sexually neutral pictures, in both groups sexually arousing pictures having both homosexual and pedophile content activated brain areas known to be involved in processing visual stimuli containing emotional content, including the occipitotemporal and prefrontal cortices. However, during presentation of the respective sexual stimuli, the thalamus, globus pallidus and striatum, which correspond to the key areas of the brain involved in sexual arousal and behaviour, showed significant activation in pedophiles, but not in control subjects. Central processing of visual sexual stimuli in homosexual pedophiles seems to be comparable to that in nonpedophile control subjects. However, compared with homosexual control subjects, activation patterns in pedophiles refer more strongly to subcortical regions, which have previously been discussed in the context of processing reward signals and also play an important role in addictive and stimulus-controlled behaviour. Thus future studies should further elucidate the specificity of these brain regions for the processing of sexual stimuli in pedophilia and should address the generally weaker activation pattern in homosexual men.

  5. Stress improves selective attention towards emotionally neutral left ear stimuli.

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    Hoskin, Robert; Hunter, M D; Woodruff, P W R

    2014-09-01

    Research concerning the impact of psychological stress on visual selective attention has produced mixed results. The current paper describes two experiments which utilise a novel auditory oddball paradigm to test the impact of psychological stress on auditory selective attention. Participants had to report the location of emotionally-neutral auditory stimuli, while ignoring task-irrelevant changes in their content. The results of the first experiment, in which speech stimuli were presented, suggested that stress improves the ability to selectively attend to left, but not right ear stimuli. When this experiment was repeated using tonal stimuli the same result was evident, but only for female participants. Females were also found to experience greater levels of distraction in general across the two experiments. These findings support the goal-shielding theory which suggests that stress improves selective attention by reducing the attentional resources available to process task-irrelevant information. The study also demonstrates, for the first time, that this goal-shielding effect extends to auditory perception. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Negative emotional stimuli reduce contextual cueing but not response times in inefficient search

    OpenAIRE

    Kunar, Melina A.; Watson, Derrick G.; Cole, Louise (Researcher in Psychology); Cox, Angeline

    2014-01-01

    In visual search, previous work has shown that negative stimuli narrow the focus of attention and speed reaction times (RTs). This paper investigates these two effects by first asking whether negative emotional stimuli narrow the focus of attention to reduce the learning of a display context in a contextual cueing task and, second, whether exposure to negative stimuli also reduces RTs in inefficient search tasks. In Experiment 1, participants viewed either negative or neutral images (faces or...

  7. Attentional Bias for Emotional Stimuli in Borderline Personality Disorder : A Meta-Analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kaiser, D.; Jacob, G.A.; Domes, G.; Arntz, A.

    2016-01-01

    Background: In borderline personality disorder (BPD), attentional bias (AB) to emotional stimuli may be a core component in disorder pathogenesis and maintenance. Sampling: 11 emotional Stroop task (EST) studies with 244 BPD patients, 255 nonpatients (NPs) and 95 clinical controls and 4 visual

  8. Emotional Stimuli and Motor Conversion Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voon, Valerie; Brezing, Christina; Gallea, Cecile; Ameli, Rezvan; Roelofs, Karin; LaFrance, W. Curt, Jr.; Hallett, Mark

    2010-01-01

    Conversion disorder is characterized by neurological signs and symptoms related to an underlying psychological issue. Amygdala activity to affective stimuli is well characterized in healthy volunteers with greater amygdala activity to both negative and positive stimuli relative to neutral stimuli, and greater activity to negative relative to…

  9. Exogenous (automatic) attention to emotional stimuli: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carretié, Luis

    2014-12-01

    Current knowledge on the architecture of exogenous attention (also called automatic, bottom-up, or stimulus-driven attention, among other terms) has been mainly obtained from studies employing neutral, anodyne stimuli. Since, from an evolutionary perspective, exogenous attention can be understood as an adaptive tool for rapidly detecting salient events, reorienting processing resources to them, and enhancing processing mechanisms, emotional events (which are, by definition, salient for the individual) would seem crucial to a comprehensive understanding of this process. This review, focusing on the visual modality, describes 55 experiments in which both emotional and neutral irrelevant distractors are presented at the same time as ongoing task targets. Qualitative and, when possible, meta-analytic descriptions of results are provided. The most conspicuous result is that, as confirmed by behavioral and/or neural indices, emotional distractors capture exogenous attention to a significantly greater extent than do neutral distractors. The modulatory effects of the nature of distractors capturing attention, of the ongoing task characteristics, and of individual differences, previously proposed as mediating factors, are also described. Additionally, studies reviewed here provide temporal and spatial information-partially absent in traditional cognitive models-on the neural basis of preattention/evaluation, reorienting, and sensory amplification, the main subprocesses involved in exogenous attention. A model integrating these different levels of information is proposed. The present review, which reveals that there are several key issues for which experimental data are surprisingly scarce, confirms the relevance of including emotional distractors in studies on exogenous attention.

  10. Emotional attention for erotic stimuli: Cognitive and brain mechanisms.

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    Sennwald, Vanessa; Pool, Eva; Brosch, Tobias; Delplanque, Sylvain; Bianchi-Demicheli, Francesco; Sander, David

    2016-06-01

    It has long been posited that among emotional stimuli, only negative threatening information modulates early shifts of attention. However, in the last few decades there has been an increase in research showing that attention is also involuntarily oriented toward positive rewarding stimuli such as babies, food, and erotic information. Because reproduction-related stimuli have some of the largest effects among positive stimuli on emotional attention, the present work reviews recent literature and proposes that the cognitive and cerebral mechanisms underlying the involuntarily attentional orientation toward threat-related information are also sensitive to erotic information. More specifically, the recent research suggests that both types of information involuntarily orient attention due to their concern relevance and that the amygdala plays an important role in detecting concern-relevant stimuli, thereby enhancing perceptual processing and influencing emotional attentional processes. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Neural Processing of Emotional Musical and Nonmusical Stimuli in Depression.

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    Rebecca J Lepping

    Full Text Available Anterior cingulate cortex (ACC and striatum are part of the emotional neural circuitry implicated in major depressive disorder (MDD. Music is often used for emotion regulation, and pleasurable music listening activates the dopaminergic system in the brain, including the ACC. The present study uses functional MRI (fMRI and an emotional nonmusical and musical stimuli paradigm to examine how neural processing of emotionally provocative auditory stimuli is altered within the ACC and striatum in depression.Nineteen MDD and 20 never-depressed (ND control participants listened to standardized positive and negative emotional musical and nonmusical stimuli during fMRI scanning and gave subjective ratings of valence and arousal following scanning.ND participants exhibited greater activation to positive versus negative stimuli in ventral ACC. When compared with ND participants, MDD participants showed a different pattern of activation in ACC. In the rostral part of the ACC, ND participants showed greater activation for positive information, while MDD participants showed greater activation to negative information. In dorsal ACC, the pattern of activation distinguished between the types of stimuli, with ND participants showing greater activation to music compared to nonmusical stimuli, while MDD participants showed greater activation to nonmusical stimuli, with the greatest response to negative nonmusical stimuli. No group differences were found in striatum.These results suggest that people with depression may process emotional auditory stimuli differently based on both the type of stimulation and the emotional content of that stimulation. This raises the possibility that music may be useful in retraining ACC function, potentially leading to more effective and targeted treatments.

  12. Sex-related memory recall and talkativeness for emotional stimuli

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    Benedetto eArnone

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies have evidenced an increasing interest in sex-related brain mechanisms and cerebral lateralization subserving emotional memory, language processing, and conversational behavior. We used event related potentials (ERP to examine the influence of sex and hemisphere on brain responses to emotional stimuli. Given that the P300 component of ERP is considered a cognitive neuroelectric phenomenon, we compared left and right hemisphere P300 responses to emotional stimuli in men and women. As indexed by both amplitude and latency measures, emotional stimuli elicited more robust P300 effects in the left hemisphere in women than in men, while a stronger P300 component was elicited in the right hemisphere in men compared to women. Our findings show that the variables of sex and hemisphere interacted significantly to influence the strength of the P300 component to the emotional stimuli. Emotional stimuli were also best recalled when given a long-term, incidental memory test, a fact potentially related to the differential P300 waves at encoding. Moreover, taking into account the sex-related differences in language processing and conversational behaviour, in the present study we evaluated possible talkativeness differences between the two genders in the recollection of emotional stimuli. Our data showed that women used a higher number of words, compared to men, to describe both arousal and neutral stories. Moreover, the present results support the view that sex differences in lateralization may not be a general feature of language processing but may be related to the specific condition, such as the emotional content of stimuli.

  13. Are females more responsive to emotional stimuli? A neurophysiological study across arousal and valence dimensions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lithari, C; Frantzidis, C A; Papadelis, C; Vivas, Ana B; Klados, M A; Kourtidou-Papadeli, C; Pappas, C; Ioannides, A A; Bamidis, P D

    2010-03-01

    Men and women seem to process emotions and react to them differently. Yet, few neurophysiological studies have systematically investigated gender differences in emotional processing. Here, we studied gender differences using Event Related Potentials (ERPs) and Skin Conductance Responses (SCR) recorded from participants who passively viewed emotional pictures selected from the International Affective Picture System (IAPS). The arousal and valence dimension of the stimuli were manipulated orthogonally. The peak amplitude and peak latency of ERP components and SCR were analyzed separately, and the scalp topographies of significant ERP differences were documented. Females responded with enhanced negative components (N100 and N200), in comparison to males, especially to the unpleasant visual stimuli, whereas both genders responded faster to high arousing or unpleasant stimuli. Scalp topographies revealed more pronounced gender differences on central and left hemisphere areas. Our results suggest a difference in the way emotional stimuli are processed by genders: unpleasant and high arousing stimuli evoke greater ERP amplitudes in women relatively to men. It also seems that unpleasant or high arousing stimuli are temporally prioritized during visual processing by both genders.

  14. Read-out of emotional information from iconic memory: the longevity of threatening stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuhbandner, Christof; Spitzer, Bernhard; Pekrun, Reinhard

    2011-05-01

    Previous research has shown that emotional stimuli are more likely than neutral stimuli to be selected by attention, indicating that the processing of emotional information is prioritized. In this study, we examined whether the emotional significance of stimuli influences visual processing already at the level of transient storage of incoming information in iconic memory, before attentional selection takes place. We used a typical iconic memory task in which the delay of a poststimulus cue, indicating which of several visual stimuli has to be reported, was varied. Performance decreased rapidly with increasing cue delay, reflecting the fast decay of information stored in iconic memory. However, although neutral stimulus information and emotional stimulus information were initially equally likely to enter iconic memory, the subsequent decay of the initially stored information was slowed for threatening stimuli, a result indicating that fear-relevant information has prolonged availability for read-out from iconic memory. This finding provides the first evidence that emotional significance already facilitates stimulus processing at the stage of iconic memory.

  15. Attentional bias for positive emotional stimuli: A meta-analytic investigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pool, Eva; Brosch, Tobias; Delplanque, Sylvain; Sander, David

    2016-01-01

    Despite an initial focus on negative threatening stimuli, researchers have more recently expanded the investigation of attentional biases toward positive rewarding stimuli. The present meta-analysis systematically compared attentional bias for positive compared with neutral visual stimuli across 243 studies (N = 9,120 healthy participants) that used different types of attentional paradigms and positive stimuli. Factors were tested that, as postulated by several attentional models derived from theories of emotion, might modulate this bias. Overall, results showed a significant, albeit modest (Hedges' g = .258), attentional bias for positive as compared with neutral stimuli. Moderator analyses revealed that the magnitude of this attentional bias varied as a function of arousal and that this bias was significantly larger when the emotional stimulus was relevant to specific concerns (e.g., hunger) of the participants compared with other positive stimuli that were less relevant to the participants' concerns. Moreover, the moderator analyses showed that attentional bias for positive stimuli was larger in paradigms that measure early, rather than late, attentional processing, suggesting that attentional bias for positive stimuli occurs rapidly and involuntarily. Implications for theories of emotion and attention are discussed. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  16. Haptic and Audio-visual Stimuli: Enhancing Experiences and Interaction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nijholt, Antinus; Dijk, Esko O.; Lemmens, Paul M.C.; Luitjens, S.B.

    2010-01-01

    The intention of the symposium on Haptic and Audio-visual stimuli at the EuroHaptics 2010 conference is to deepen the understanding of the effect of combined Haptic and Audio-visual stimuli. The knowledge gained will be used to enhance experiences and interactions in daily life. To this end, a

  17. It’s all in the past: Temporal-context effects modulate subjective evaluations of emotional visual stimuli, regardless of presentation sequence

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Czekóová, K.; Shaw, D. J.; Janoušová, E.; Urbánek, Tomáš

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 6, č. 367 (2015), s. 1-11 ISSN 1664-1078 Institutional support: RVO:68081740 Keywords : emotion * temporal context * presentation sequence * assimilation effect * contrast effect Subject RIV: AN - Psychology Impact factor: 2.463, year: 2015 http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00367/full

  18. Preprocessing of emotional visual information in the human piriform cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulze, Patrick; Bestgen, Anne-Kathrin; Lech, Robert K; Kuchinke, Lars; Suchan, Boris

    2017-08-23

    This study examines the processing of visual information by the olfactory system in humans. Recent data point to the processing of visual stimuli by the piriform cortex, a region mainly known as part of the primary olfactory cortex. Moreover, the piriform cortex generates predictive templates of olfactory stimuli to facilitate olfactory processing. This study fills the gap relating to the question whether this region is also capable of preprocessing emotional visual information. To gain insight into the preprocessing and transfer of emotional visual information into olfactory processing, we recorded hemodynamic responses during affective priming using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Odors of different valence (pleasant, neutral and unpleasant) were primed by images of emotional facial expressions (happy, neutral and disgust). Our findings are the first to demonstrate that the piriform cortex preprocesses emotional visual information prior to any olfactory stimulation and that the emotional connotation of this preprocessing is subsequently transferred and integrated into an extended olfactory network for olfactory processing.

  19. Emotional Responses to Multisensory Environmental Stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eliane Schreuder

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available How we perceive our environment affects the way we feel and behave. The impressions of our ambient environment are influenced by its entire spectrum of physical characteristics (e.g., luminosity, sound, scents, temperature in a dynamic and interactive way. The ability to manipulate the sensory aspects of an environment such that people feel comfortable or exhibit a desired behavior is gaining interest and social relevance. Although much is known about the sensory effects of individual environmental characteristics, their combined effects are not a priori evident due to a wide range of non-linear interactions in the processing of sensory cues. As a result, it is currently not known how different environmental characteristics should be combined to effectively induce desired emotional and behavioral effects. To gain more insight into this matter, we performed a literature review on the emotional effects of multisensory stimulation. Although we found some interesting mechanisms, the outcome also reveals that empirical evidence is still scarce and haphazard. To stimulate further discussion and research, we propose a conceptual framework that describes how environmental interventions are likely to affect human emotional responses. This framework leads to some critical research questions that suggest opportunities for further investigation.

  20. What’s the meaning of this? A behavioral and neurophysiological investigation into the principles behind the classification of visual emotional stimuli

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Czekóová, K.; Shaw, D. J.; Urbánek, Tomáš; Chládek, Jan; Lamoš, M.; Roman, R.; Brázdil, M.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 53, č. 8 (2016), s. 1203-1216 ISSN 0048-5772 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP103/11/0933; GA MŠk(CZ) LO1212 Grant - others:GA MŠk(CZ) CEITEC CZ1.05/1.1.00/02.0068 Institutional support: RVO:68081740 ; RVO:68081731 Keywords : Emotion * Semantic content * Categorization * Intracerebral EEG * Cluster analysis Subject RIV: AN - Psychology; BH - Optics, Masers, Lasers (UPT-D) Impact factor: 2.668, year: 2016

  1. Music influences ratings of the affect of visual stimuli

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hanser, W.E.; Mark, R.E.

    2013-01-01

    This review provides an overview of recent studies that have examined how music influences the judgment of emotional stimuli, including affective pictures and film clips. The relevant findings are incorporated within a broader theory of music and emotion, and suggestions for future research are

  2. Impact of emotion on consciousness: positive stimuli enhance conscious reportability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristine Rømer Thomsen

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Emotion and reward have been proposed to be closely linked to conscious experience, but empirical data are lacking. The anterior cingulate cortex (ACC plays a central role in the hedonic dimension of conscious experience; thus potentially a key region in interactions between emotion and consciousness. Here we tested the impact of emotion on conscious experience, and directly investigated the role of the ACC. We used a masked paradigm that measures conscious reportability in terms of subjective confidence and objective accuracy in identifying the briefly presented stimulus in a forced-choice test. By manipulating the emotional valence (positive, neutral, negative and the presentation time (16 ms, 32 ms, 80 ms we measured the impact of these variables on conscious and subliminal (i.e. below threshold processing. First, we tested normal participants using face and word stimuli. Results showed that participants were more confident and accurate when consciously seeing happy versus sad/neutral faces and words. When stimuli were presented subliminally, we found no effect of emotion. To investigate the neural basis of this impact of emotion, we recorded local field potentials (LFPs directly in the ACC in a chronic pain patient. Behavioural findings were replicated: the patient was more confident and accurate when (consciously seeing happy versus sad faces, while no effect was seen in subliminal trials. Mirroring behavioural findings, we found significant differences in the LFPs after around 500 ms (lasting 30 ms in conscious trials between happy and sad faces, while no effect was found in subliminal trials. We thus demonstrate a striking impact of emotion on conscious experience, with positive emotional stimuli enhancing conscious reportability. In line with previous studies, the data indicate a key role of the ACC, but goes beyond earlier work by providing the first direct evidence of interaction between emotion and conscious experience in the human

  3. Multisensory stimuli improve relative localisation judgments compared to unisensory auditory or visual stimuli

    OpenAIRE

    Bizley, Jennifer; Wood, Katherine; Freeman, Laura

    2018-01-01

    Observers performed a relative localisation task in which they reported whether the second of two sequentially presented signals occurred to the left or right of the first. Stimuli were detectability-matched auditory, visual, or auditory-visual signals and the goal was to compare changes in performance with eccentricity across modalities. Visual performance was superior to auditory at the midline, but inferior in the periphery, while auditory-visual performance exceeded both at all locations....

  4. Negative emotional stimuli reduce contextual cueing but not response times in inefficient search.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kunar, Melina A; Watson, Derrick G; Cole, Louise; Cox, Angeline

    2014-02-01

    In visual search, previous work has shown that negative stimuli narrow the focus of attention and speed reaction times (RTs). This paper investigates these two effects by first asking whether negative emotional stimuli narrow the focus of attention to reduce the learning of a display context in a contextual cueing task and, second, whether exposure to negative stimuli also reduces RTs in inefficient search tasks. In Experiment 1, participants viewed either negative or neutral images (faces or scenes) prior to a contextual cueing task. In a typical contextual cueing experiment, RTs are reduced if displays are repeated across the experiment compared with novel displays that are not repeated. The results showed that a smaller contextual cueing effect was obtained after participants viewed negative stimuli than when they viewed neutral stimuli. However, in contrast to previous work, overall search RTs were not faster after viewing negative stimuli (Experiments 2 to 4). The findings are discussed in terms of the impact of emotional content on visual processing and the ability to use scene context to help facilitate search.

  5. Heightened attentional capture by visual food stimuli in Anorexia Nervosa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Neimeijer, Renate A.M.; Roefs, Anne; de Jong, Peter J.

    The present study was designed to test the hypothesis that anorexia nervosa (AN) patients are relatively insensitive to the attentional capture of visual food stimuli. Attentional avoidance of food might help AN patients to prevent more elaborate processing of food stimuli and the subsequent

  6. False memories to emotional stimuli are not equally affected in right- and left-brain-damaged stroke patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buratto, Luciano Grüdtner; Zimmermann, Nicolle; Ferré, Perrine; Joanette, Yves; Fonseca, Rochele Paz; Stein, Lilian Milnitsky

    2014-10-01

    Previous research has attributed to the right hemisphere (RH) a key role in eliciting false memories to visual emotional stimuli. These results have been explained in terms of two right-hemisphere properties: (i) that emotional stimuli are preferentially processed in the RH and (ii) that visual stimuli are represented more coarsely in the RH. According to this account, false emotional memories are preferentially produced in the RH because emotional stimuli are both more strongly and more diffusely activated during encoding, leaving a memory trace that can be erroneously reactivated by similar but unstudied emotional items at test. If this right-hemisphere hypothesis is correct, then RH damage should result in a reduction in false memories to emotional stimuli relative to left-hemisphere lesions. To investigate this possibility, groups of right-brain-damaged (RBD, N=15), left-brain-damaged (LBD, N=15) and healthy (HC, N=30) participants took part in a recognition memory experiment with emotional (negative and positive) and non-emotional pictures. False memories were operationalized as incorrect responses to unstudied pictures that were similar to studied ones. Both RBD and LBD participants showed similar reductions in false memories for negative pictures relative to controls. For positive pictures, however, false memories were reduced only in RBD patients. The results provide only partial support for the right-hemisphere hypothesis and suggest that inter-hemispheric cooperation models may be necessary to fully account for false emotional memories. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Emotion regulation during the encoding of emotional stimuli: Effects on subsequent memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leventon, Jacqueline S; Bauer, Patricia J

    2016-02-01

    In the adult literature, emotional arousal is regarded as a source of the enhancing effect of emotion on subsequent memory. Here, we used behavioral and electrophysiological methods to examine the role of emotional arousal on subsequent memory in school-age children. Furthermore, we implemented a reappraisal instruction to manipulate (down-regulate) emotional arousal at encoding to examine the relation between emotional arousal and subsequent memory. Participants (8-year-old girls) viewed emotional scenes as electrophysiological (EEG) data were recorded and participated in a memory task 1 to 5days later where EEG and behavioral responses were recorded; participants provided subjective ratings of the scenes after the memory task. The reappraisal instruction successfully reduced emotional arousal responses to negative stimuli but not positive stimuli. Similarly, recognition performance in both event-related potentials (ERPs) and behavior was impaired for reappraised negative stimuli but not positive stimuli. The findings indicate that ERPs are sensitive to the reappraisal of negative stimuli in children as young as 8years. Furthermore, the findings suggest an interaction of emotion and memory during the school years, implicating the explanatory role of emotional arousal at encoding on subsequent memory performance in female children as young as 8years. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Attentional Bias for Emotional Stimuli in Borderline Personality Disorder: A Meta-Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaiser, Deborah; Jacob, Gitta A; Domes, Gregor; Arntz, Arnoud

    2016-01-01

    In borderline personality disorder (BPD), attentional bias (AB) to emotional stimuli may be a core component in disorder pathogenesis and maintenance. 11 emotional Stroop task (EST) studies with 244 BPD patients, 255 nonpatients (NPs) and 95 clinical controls and 4 visual dot-probe task (VDPT) studies with 151 BPD patients or subjects with BPD features and 62 NPs were included. We conducted two separate meta-analyses for AB in BPD. One meta-analysis focused on the EST for generally negative and BPD-specific/personally relevant negative words. The other meta-analysis concentrated on the VDPT for negative and positive facial stimuli. There is evidence for an AB towards generally negative emotional words compared to NPs (standardized mean difference, SMD = 0.311) and to other psychiatric disorders (SMD = 0.374) in the EST studies. Regarding BPD-specific/personally relevant negative words, BPD patients reveal an even stronger AB than NPs (SMD = 0.454). The VDPT studies indicate a tendency towards an AB to positive facial stimuli but not negative stimuli in BPD patients compared to NPs. The findings rather reflect an AB in BPD to generally negative and BPD-specific/personally relevant negative words rather than an AB in BPD towards facial stimuli, and/or a biased allocation of covert attentional resources to negative emotional stimuli in BPD and not a bias in focus of visual attention. Further research regarding the role of childhood traumatization and comorbid anxiety disorders may improve the understanding of these underlying processes. © 2016 The Author(s) Published by S. Karger AG, Basel.

  9. Effects of Auditory Stimuli on Visual Velocity Perception

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michiaki Shibata

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available We investigated the effects of auditory stimuli on the perceived velocity of a moving visual stimulus. Previous studies have reported that the duration of visual events is perceived as being longer for events filled with auditory stimuli than for events not filled with auditory stimuli, ie, the so-called “filled-duration illusion.” In this study, we have shown that auditory stimuli also affect the perceived velocity of a moving visual stimulus. In Experiment 1, a moving comparison stimulus (4.2∼5.8 deg/s was presented together with filled (or unfilled white-noise bursts or with no sound. The standard stimulus was a moving visual stimulus (5 deg/s presented before or after the comparison stimulus. The participants had to judge which stimulus was moving faster. The results showed that the perceived velocity in the auditory-filled condition was lower than that in the auditory-unfilled and no-sound conditions. In Experiment 2, we investigated the effects of auditory stimuli on velocity adaptation. The results showed that the effects of velocity adaptation in the auditory-filled condition were weaker than those in the no-sound condition. These results indicate that auditory stimuli tend to decrease the perceived velocity of a moving visual stimulus.

  10. Effect of Size Change and Brightness Change of Visual Stimuli on Loudness Perception and Pitch Perception of Auditory Stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Syouya Tanabe

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available People obtain a lot of information from visual and auditory sensation on daily life. Regarding the effect of visual stimuli on perception of auditory stimuli, studies of phonological perception and sound localization have been made in great numbers. This study examined the effect of visual stimuli on perception in loudness and pitch of auditory stimuli. We used the image of figures whose size or brightness was changed as visual stimuli, and the sound of pure tone whose loudness or pitch was changed as auditory stimuli. Those visual and auditory stimuli were combined independently to make four types of audio-visual multisensory stimuli for psychophysical experiments. In the experiments, participants judged change in loudness or pitch of auditory stimuli, while they judged the direction of size change or the kind of a presented figure in visual stimuli. Therefore they cannot neglect visual stimuli while they judged auditory stimuli. As a result, perception in loudness and pitch were promoted significantly around their difference limen, when the image was getting bigger or brighter, compared with the case in which the image had no changes. This indicates that perception in loudness and pitch were affected by change in size and brightness of visual stimuli.

  11. Music Influences Ratings of the Affect of Visual Stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Waldie E Hanser

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available This review provides an overview of recent studies that have examined how music influences the judgment of emotional stimuli, including affective pictures and film clips. The relevant findings are incorporated within a broader theory of music and emotion, and suggestions for future research are offered.Music is important in our daily lives, and one of its primary uses by listeners is the active regulation of one's mood. Despite this widespread use as a regulator of mood and its general pervasiveness in our society, the number of studies investigating the issue of whether, and how, music affects mood and emotional behaviour is limited however. Experiments investigating the effects of music have generally focused on how the emotional valence of background music impacts how affective pictures and/or film clips are evaluated. These studies have demonstrated strong effects of music on the emotional judgment of such stimuli. Most studies have reported concurrent background music to enhance the emotional valence when music and pictures are emotionally congruent. On the other hand, when music and pictures are emotionally incongruent, the ratings of the affect of the pictures will in- or decrease depending on the emotional valence of the background music. These results appear to be consistent in studies investigating the effects of (background music.

  12. Emotional stimuli exert parallel effects on attention and memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talmi, Deborah; Ziegler, Marilyne; Hawksworth, Jade; Lalani, Safina; Herman, C Peter; Moscovitch, Morris

    2013-01-01

    Because emotional and neutral stimuli typically differ on non-emotional dimensions, it has been difficult to determine conclusively which factors underlie the ability of emotional stimuli to enhance immediate long-term memory. Here we induced arousal by varying participants' goals, a method that removes many potential confounds between emotional and non-emotional items. Hungry and sated participants encoded food and clothing images under divided attention conditions. Sated participants attended to and recalled food and clothing images equivalently. Hungry participants performed worse on the concurrent tone-discrimination task when they viewed food relative to clothing images, suggesting enhanced attention to food images, and they recalled more food than clothing images. A follow-up regression analysis of the factors predicting memory for individual pictures revealed that food images had parallel effects on attention and memory in hungry participants, so that enhanced attention to food images did not predict their enhanced memory. We suggest that immediate long-term memory for food is enhanced in the hungry state because hunger leads to more distinctive processing of food images rendering them more accessible during retrieval.

  13. Exogenous (automatic) attention to emotional stimuli: a review

    OpenAIRE

    Carretié, Luis

    2014-01-01

    Current knowledge on the architecture of exogenous attention (also called automatic, bottom-up, or stimulus-driven attention, among other terms) has been mainly obtained from studies employing neutral, anodyne stimuli. Since, from an evolutionary perspective, exogenous attention can be understood as an adaptive tool for rapidly detecting salient events, reorienting processing resources to them, and enhancing processing mechanisms, emotional events (which are, by definition, salient for the in...

  14. Positive erotic picture stimuli for emotion research in heterosexual females.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacob, Gitta Anne; Arntz, Arnoud; Domes, Gregor; Reiss, Neele; Siep, Nicolette

    2011-12-30

    In most experimental studies, emotional pictures are widely used as stimulus material. However, there is still a lack of standardization of picture stimuli displaying erotic relationships, despite the association between a number of psychological problems and severe impairments and problems in intimate relationships. The aim of the study was to test a set of erotic stimuli, with the potential to be used in experimental studies, with heterosexual female subjects. Twenty International Affective Picture System (IAPS) pictures and an additional 100 pictures showing romantic but not explicitly sexual scenes and/or attractive single males were selected. All pictures were rated with respect to valence, arousal, and dominance by 41 heterosexual women and compared to pictures with negative, positive, and neutral emotional valence. Erotic IAPS pictures and our additional erotic pictures did not differ in any of the evaluation dimensions. Analyses of variance (ANOVAs) for valence, arousal, and dominance comparing different picture valence categories showed strong effects for category. However, valence was not significantly different between erotic and positive pictures, while arousal and control were not significantly different between positive and neutral pictures. The pictures of our new set are as positive for heterosexual women as highly positive IAPS pictures, but higher in arousal and dominance. The picture set can be used in experimental psychiatric studies requiring high numbers of stimuli per category. Limitations are the restriction of stimuli application to heterosexual females only and to self-report data. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Subliminal presentation of emotionally negative vs positive primes increases the perceived beauty of target stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Era, Vanessa; Candidi, Matteo; Aglioti, Salvatore Maria

    2015-11-01

    Emotions have a profound influence on aesthetic experiences. Studies using affective priming procedures demonstrate, for example, that inducing a conscious negative emotional state biases the perception of abstract stimuli towards the sublime (Eskine et al. Emotion 12:1071-1074, 2012. doi: 10.1037/a0027200). Moreover, subliminal happy facial expressions have a positive impact on the aesthetic evaluation of abstract art (Flexas et al. PLoS ONE 8:e80154, 2013). Little is known about how emotion influences aesthetic perception of non-abstract, representational stimuli, especially those that are particularly relevant for social behaviour, like human bodies. Here, we explore whether the subliminal presentation of emotionally charged visual primes modulates the explicit subjective aesthetic judgment of body images. Using a forward/backward masking procedure, we presented subliminally positive and negative, arousal-matched, emotional or neutral primes and measured their effect on the explicit evaluation of perceived beauty (high vs low) and emotion (positive vs negative) evoked by abstract and body images. We found that negative primes increased subjective aesthetic evaluations of target bodies or abstract images in comparison with positive primes. No influence of primes on the emotional dimension of the targets was found, thus ruling out an unspecific arousal effect and strengthening the link between emotional valence and aesthetic appreciation. More specifically, that subliminal negative primes increase beauty ratings compared to subliminal positive primes indicates a clear link between negative emotions and positive aesthetic evaluations and vice versa, suggesting a possible link between negative emotion and the experience of sublime in art. The study expands previous research by showing the effect of subliminal negative emotions on the subjective aesthetic evaluation not only of abstract but also of body images.

  16. Processing of unattended facial emotions: a visual mismatch negativity study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stefanics, Gábor; Csukly, Gábor; Komlósi, Sarolta; Czobor, Pál; Czigler, István

    2012-02-01

    Facial emotions express our internal states and are fundamental in social interactions. Here we explore whether the repetition of unattended facial emotions builds up a predictive representation of frequently encountered emotions in the visual system. Participants (n=24) were presented peripherally with facial stimuli expressing emotions while they performed a visual detection task presented in the center of the visual field. Facial stimuli consisted of four faces of different identity, but expressed the same emotion (happy or fearful). Facial stimuli were presented in blocks of oddball sequence (standard emotion: p=0.9, deviant emotion: p=0.1). Event-related potentials (ERPs) to the same emotions were compared when the emotions were deviant and standard, respectively. We found visual mismatch negativity (vMMN) responses to unattended deviant emotions in the 170-360 ms post-stimulus range over bilateral occipito-temporal sites. Our results demonstrate that information about the emotional content of unattended faces presented at the periphery of the visual field is rapidly processed and stored in a predictive memory representation by the visual system. We also found evidence that differential processing of deviant fearful faces starts already at 70-120 ms after stimulus onset. This finding shows a 'negativity bias' under unattended conditions. Differential processing of fearful deviants were more pronounced in the right hemisphere in the 195-275 ms and 360-390 ms intervals, whereas processing of happy deviants evoked larger differential response in the left hemisphere in the 360-390 ms range, indicating differential hemispheric specialization for automatic processing of positive and negative affect. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Beyond arousal and valence: the importance of the biological versus social relevance of emotional stimuli

    OpenAIRE

    Sakaki, Michiko; Niki, N.; Mather, M.

    2012-01-01

    The present study addressed the hypothesis that emotional stimuli relevant to survival or reproduction (biologically emotional stimuli) automatically affect cognitive processing (e.g., attention, memory), while those relevant to social life (socially emotional stimuli) require elaborative processing to modulate attention and memory. Results of our behavioral studies showed that (1) biologically emotional images hold attention more strongly than do socially emotional images, (2) memory for bio...

  18. Emotional conditioning to masked stimuli and modulation of visuospatial attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beaver, John D; Mogg, Karin; Bradley, Brendan P

    2005-03-01

    Two studies investigated the effects of conditioning to masked stimuli on visuospatial attention. During the conditioning phase, masked snakes and spiders were paired with a burst of white noise, or paired with an innocuous tone, in the conditioned stimulus (CS)+ and CS- conditions, respectively. Attentional allocation to the CSs was then assessed with a visual probe task, in which the CSs were presented unmasked (Experiment 1) or both unmasked and masked (Experiment 2), together with fear-irrelevant control stimuli (flowers and mushrooms). In Experiment 1, participants preferentially allocated attention to CS+ relative to control stimuli. Experiment 2 suggested that this attentional bias depended on the perceived aversiveness of the unconditioned stimulus and did not require conscious recognition of the CSs during both acquisition and expression. Copyright 2005 APA, all rights reserved.

  19. Sex differences in event-related potentials and attentional biases to emotional facial stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfabigan, Daniela M; Lamplmayr-Kragl, Elisabeth; Pintzinger, Nina M; Sailer, Uta; Tran, Ulrich S

    2014-01-01

    Attentional processes play an important role in the processing of emotional information. Previous research reported attentional biases during stimulus processing in anxiety and depression. However, sex differences in the processing of emotional stimuli and higher prevalence rates of anxiety disorders among women, compared to men, suggest that attentional biases may also differ between the two sexes. The present study used a modified version of the dot probe task with happy, angry, and neutral facial stimuli to investigate the time course of attentional biases in healthy volunteers. Moreover, associations of attentional biases with alexithymia were examined on the behavioral and physiological level. Event-related potentials were measured while 21 participants (11 women) performed the task, utilizing also for the first time a difference wave approach in the analysis to highlight emotion-specific aspects. Women showed overall enhanced probe P1 amplitudes compared to men, in particular after rewarding facial stimuli. Using the difference wave approach, probe P1 amplitudes appeared specifically enhanced with regard to congruently presented happy facial stimuli among women, compared to men. Both methods yielded enhanced probe P1 amplitudes after presentation of the emotional stimulus in the left compared to the right visual hemifield. Probe P1 amplitudes correlated negatively with self-reported alexithymia, most of these correlations were only observable in women. Our results suggest that women orient their attention to a greater extent to facial stimuli than men and corroborate that alexithymia is a correlate of reduced emotional reactivity on a neuronal level. We recommend using a difference wave approach when addressing attentional processes of orientation and disengagement also in future studies.

  20. Sex differences in event-related potentials and attentional biases to emotional facial stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela M. Pfabigan

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Attentional processes play an important role in the processing of emotional information. Previous research reported attentional biases during stimulus processing in anxiety and depression. However, sex differences in the processing of emotional stimuli and higher prevalence rates of anxiety disorders among women, compared to men, suggest that attentional biases may also differ between the two sexes. The present study used a modified version of the dot probe task with happy, angry, and neutral facial stimuli to investigate the time course of attentional biases in healthy volunteers. Moreover, associations of attentional biases with alexithymia were examined on the behavioral and physiological level. Event-related potentials were measured while 21 participants (11 women performed the task, utilizing also for the first time a difference wave approach in the analysis to highlight emotion-specific aspects. Women showed overall enhanced probe P1 amplitudes compared to men, in particular after rewarding facial stimuli. Under the difference wave approach, probe P1 amplitudes appeared specifically enhanced with regard to congruently presented happy facial stimuli among women, compared to men. Both methods yielded enhanced probe P1 amplitudes after presentation of the emotional stimulus in the left compared to the right visual hemifield. Probe P1 amplitudes correlated negatively with self-reported alexithymia, most of these correlations were only observable in women. Our results suggest that women orient their attention to a greater extent to facial stimuli than men and corroborate that alexithymia is a correlate of reduced emotional reactivity on a neuronal level. We recommend using a difference wave approach when addressing attentional processes of orientation and disengagement also in future studies.

  1. Endogenous sequential cortical activity evoked by visual stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrillo-Reid, Luis; Miller, Jae-Eun Kang; Hamm, Jordan P; Jackson, Jesse; Yuste, Rafael

    2015-06-10

    Although the functional properties of individual neurons in primary visual cortex have been studied intensely, little is known about how neuronal groups could encode changing visual stimuli using temporal activity patterns. To explore this, we used in vivo two-photon calcium imaging to record the activity of neuronal populations in primary visual cortex of awake mice in the presence and absence of visual stimulation. Multidimensional analysis of the network activity allowed us to identify neuronal ensembles defined as groups of cells firing in synchrony. These synchronous groups of neurons were themselves activated in sequential temporal patterns, which repeated at much higher proportions than chance and were triggered by specific visual stimuli such as natural visual scenes. Interestingly, sequential patterns were also present in recordings of spontaneous activity without any sensory stimulation and were accompanied by precise firing sequences at the single-cell level. Moreover, intrinsic dynamics could be used to predict the occurrence of future neuronal ensembles. Our data demonstrate that visual stimuli recruit similar sequential patterns to the ones observed spontaneously, consistent with the hypothesis that already existing Hebbian cell assemblies firing in predefined temporal sequences could be the microcircuit substrate that encodes visual percepts changing in time. Copyright © 2015 Carrillo-Reid et al.

  2. Resting-state functional connectivity remains unaffected by preceding exposure to aversive visual stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geissmann, Léonie; Gschwind, Leo; Schicktanz, Nathalie; Deuring, Gunnar; Rosburg, Timm; Schwegler, Kyrill; Gerhards, Christiane; Milnik, Annette; Pflueger, Marlon O; Mager, Ralph; de Quervain, Dominique J F; Coynel, David

    2018-02-15

    While much is known about immediate brain activity changes induced by the confrontation with emotional stimuli, the subsequent temporal unfolding of emotions has yet to be explored. To investigate whether exposure to emotionally aversive pictures affects subsequent resting-state networks differently from exposure to neutral pictures, a resting-state fMRI study implementing a two-group repeated-measures design in healthy young adults (N = 34) was conducted. We focused on investigating (i) patterns of amygdala whole-brain and hippocampus connectivity in both a seed-to-voxel and seed-to-seed approach, (ii) whole-brain resting-state networks with an independent component analysis coupled with dual regression, and (iii) the amygdala's fractional amplitude of low frequency fluctuations, all while EEG recording potential fluctuations in vigilance. In spite of the successful emotion induction, as demonstrated by stimuli rating and a memory-facilitating effect of negative emotionality, none of the resting-state measures was differentially affected by picture valence. In conclusion, resting-state networks connectivity as well as the amygdala's low frequency oscillations appear to be unaffected by preceding exposure to widely used emotionally aversive visual stimuli in healthy young adults. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. An Artificial Emotion Model For Visualizing Emotion of Characters

    OpenAIRE

    Junseok Ham; Chansun Jung; Junhyung Park; Jihye Ryeo; Ilju Ko

    2009-01-01

    It is hard to express emotion through only speech when we watch a character in a movie or a play because we cannot estimate the size, kind, and quantity of emotion. So this paper proposes an artificial emotion model for visualizing current emotion with color and location in emotion model. The artificial emotion model is designed considering causality of generated emotion, difference of personality, difference of continual emotional stimulus, and co-relation of various emo...

  4. Impaired autonomic responses to emotional stimuli in autoimmune limbic encephalitis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olga eSchröder

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Limbic encephalitis (LE is an autoimmune-mediated disorder that affects structures of the limbic system, in particular the amygdala. The amygdala constitutes a brain area substantial for processing of emotional, especially fear-related signals. The amygdala is also involved in neuroendocrine and autonomic functions, including skin conductance responses (SCRs to emotionally arousing stimuli. This study investigates behavioral and autonomic responses to discrete emotion-evoking and neutral film clips in a patient suffering from LE associated with contactin-associated protein-2 (CASPR2-antibodies as compared to a healthy control group. Results show a lack of SCRs in the patient while watching the film clips, with significant differences compared to healthy controls in the case of fear-inducing videos. There was no comparable impairment in behavioral data (emotion report, valence and arousal ratings. The results point to a defective modulation of sympathetic responses during emotional stimulation in patients with LE, probably due to impaired functioning of the amygdala.

  5. Selective Attention to Emotional Stimuli: What IQ and Openness Do, and Emotional Intelligence Does Not

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiori, Marina; Antonakis, John

    2012-01-01

    We examined how general intelligence, personality, and emotional intelligence--measured as an ability using the MSCEIT--predicted performance on a selective-attention task requiring participants to ignore distracting emotion information. We used a visual prime in which participants saw a pair of faces depicting emotions; their task was to focus on…

  6. Precuneus-prefrontal activity during awareness of visual verbal stimuli

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjaer, T W; Nowak, M; Kjær, Klaus Wilbrandt

    2001-01-01

    Awareness is a personal experience, which is only accessible to the rest of world through interpretation. We set out to identify a neural correlate of visual awareness, using brief subliminal and supraliminal verbal stimuli while measuring cerebral blood flow distribution with H(2)(15)O PET. Awar...

  7. Effects of Temporal Congruity Between Auditory and Visual Stimuli Using Rapid Audio-Visual Serial Presentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    An, Xingwei; Tang, Jiabei; Liu, Shuang; He, Feng; Qi, Hongzhi; Wan, Baikun; Ming, Dong

    2016-10-01

    Combining visual and auditory stimuli in event-related potential (ERP)-based spellers gained more attention in recent years. Few of these studies notice the difference of ERP components and system efficiency caused by the shifting of visual and auditory onset. Here, we aim to study the effect of temporal congruity of auditory and visual stimuli onset on bimodal brain-computer interface (BCI) speller. We designed five visual and auditory combined paradigms with different visual-to-auditory delays (-33 to +100 ms). Eleven participants attended in this study. ERPs were acquired and aligned according to visual and auditory stimuli onset, respectively. ERPs of Fz, Cz, and PO7 channels were studied through the statistical analysis of different conditions both from visual-aligned ERPs and audio-aligned ERPs. Based on the visual-aligned ERPs, classification accuracy was also analyzed to seek the effects of visual-to-auditory delays. The latencies of ERP components depended mainly on the visual stimuli onset. Auditory stimuli onsets influenced mainly on early component accuracies, whereas visual stimuli onset determined later component accuracies. The latter, however, played a dominate role in overall classification. This study is important for further studies to achieve better explanations and ultimately determine the way to optimize the bimodal BCI application.

  8. Avaliação da ansiedade e do viés de atenção no canal visual para estímulos emocionais em uma amostra não clínica Assessment of anxiety and attentional bias in the visual channel toward emotional stimuli in a non-clinical sample

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wilson Vieira Melo

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available A ansiedade vem sendo estudada como fator capaz de influenciar a atenção visual seletiva em experimentos como a Visual Probe Detection Task (VPDT. Este estudo objetivou comparar o viés de atenção para imagens emocionais em pessoas com diferentes níveis de ansiedade de traço e estado usando a VPDT. Oitenta e dois estudantes universitários responderam ao IDATE. Na VPDT, utilizaram-se 12 pares de imagens com alto nível de ativação e valência negativa, pareadas com imagens controles neutras, do International Affective Picture System (IAPS. Os estímulos eram apresentados durante 200 m. O viés de atenção não foi diferente entre os participantes com baixos e altos níveis de ansiedade de traço e estado. Tais resultados indicaram que elas não são importantes para o viés de atenção para estímulos negativos com altos níveis de ativação. Além disso, é possível que o viés de atenção para estímulos ansiogênicos seja observado apenas em populações clínicas.Anxiety has been observed as a factor capable to influence the visual selective attention in experiments such as the Visual Probe Detection Task (VPDT. This study aimed to compare the attentional bias to emotional images in people with different levels of trait and state anxiety using a VPDT. Eighty-two undergraduate students performed VPDT and answered the State and Trait Anxiety Inventory. In VPDT, 12 pairs of images from International Affective Picture System (emotional image with high arousal level and negative valence/and one control, neutral were presented during 200 m. There was no attentional bias difference between the participants neither with low nor high levels of trait or state of anxiety. These results indicated that trait or state anxiety might not be important to attentional bias to negative and arousing visual stimuli. It is possible that just clinical populations with anxiety disorders often show attentional bias to anxiogenic stimuli.

  9. Heightened attentional capture by visual food stimuli in anorexia nervosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neimeijer, Renate A M; Roefs, Anne; de Jong, Peter J

    2017-08-01

    The present study was designed to test the hypothesis that anorexia nervosa (AN) patients are relatively insensitive to the attentional capture of visual food stimuli. Attentional avoidance of food might help AN patients to prevent more elaborate processing of food stimuli and the subsequent generation of craving, which might enable AN patients to maintain their strict diet. Participants were 66 restrictive AN spectrum patients and 55 healthy controls. A single-target rapid serial visual presentation task was used with food and disorder-neutral cues as critical distracter stimuli and disorder-neutral pictures as target stimuli. AN spectrum patients showed diminished task performance when visual food cues were presented in close temporal proximity of the to-be-identified target. In contrast to our hypothesis, results indicate that food cues automatically capture AN spectrum patients' attention. One explanation could be that the enhanced attentional capture of food cues in AN is driven by the relatively high threat value of food items in AN. Implications and suggestions for future research are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  10. Emotion Recognition in Animated Compared to Human Stimuli in Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brosnan, Mark; Johnson, Hilary; Grawmeyer, Beate; Chapman, Emma; Benton, Laura

    2015-01-01

    There is equivocal evidence as to whether there is a deficit in recognising emotional expressions in Autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This study compared emotion recognition in ASD in three types of emotion expression media (still image, dynamic image, auditory) across human stimuli (e.g. photo of a human face) and animated stimuli (e.g. cartoon…

  11. Neural correlates of top-down processing in emotion perception: an ERP study of emotional faces in white noise versus noise-alone stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Kyu-Yong; Lee, Tae-Ho; Yoon, So-Jeong; Cho, Yang Seok; Choi, June-Seek; Kim, Hyun Taek

    2010-06-14

    In the present study, we investigated the neural correlates underlying the perception of emotion in response to facial stimuli in order to elucidate the extent to which emotional perception is affected by the top-down process. Subjects performed a forced, two-choice emotion discrimination task towards ambiguous visual stimuli consisted of emotional faces embedded in different levels of visual white noise, including white noise-alone stimuli. ERP recordings and behavioral responses were analyzed according to the four response categories: hit, miss, false alarm and correct rejection. We observed enlarged EPN and LPP amplitudes when subjects reported seeing fearful faces and a typical emotional EPN response in the white noise-alone conditions when fearful faces were not presented. The two components of the ERP data which imply the characteristic modulation reflecting emotional processing showed the type of emotion each individual subjectively perceived. The results suggest that top-down modulations might be indispensable for emotional perception, which consists of two distinct stages of stimulus processing in the brain. (c) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Neural correlates of emotional intelligence in a visual emotional oddball task: an ERP study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raz, Sivan; Dan, Orrie; Zysberg, Leehu

    2014-11-01

    The present study was aimed at identifying potential behavioral and neural correlates of Emotional Intelligence (EI) by using scalp-recorded Event-Related Potentials (ERPs). EI levels were defined according to both self-report questionnaire and a performance-based ability test. We identified ERP correlates of emotional processing by using a visual-emotional oddball paradigm, in which subjects were confronted with one frequent standard stimulus (a neutral face) and two deviant stimuli (a happy and an angry face). The effects of these faces were then compared across groups with low and high EI levels. The ERP results indicate that participants with high EI exhibited significantly greater mean amplitudes of the P1, P2, N2, and P3 ERP components in response to emotional and neutral faces, at frontal, posterior-parietal and occipital scalp locations. P1, P2 and N2 are considered indexes of attention-related processes and have been associated with early attention to emotional stimuli. The later P3 component has been thought to reflect more elaborative, top-down, emotional information processing including emotional evaluation and memory encoding and formation. These results may suggest greater recruitment of resources to process all emotional and non-emotional faces at early and late processing stages among individuals with higher EI. The present study underscores the usefulness of ERP methodology as a sensitive measure for the study of emotional stimuli processing in the research field of EI. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Comparisons of memory for nonverbal auditory and visual sequential stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McFarland, D J; Cacace, A T

    1995-01-01

    Properties of auditory and visual sensory memory were compared by examining subjects' recognition performance of randomly generated binary auditory sequential frequency patterns and binary visual sequential color patterns within a forced-choice paradigm. Experiment 1 demonstrated serial-position effects in auditory and visual modalities consisting of both primacy and recency effects. Experiment 2 found that retention of auditory and visual information was remarkably similar when assessed across a 10s interval. Experiments 3 and 4, taken together, showed that the recency effect in sensory memory is affected more by the type of response required (recognition vs. reproduction) than by the sensory modality employed. These studies suggest that auditory and visual sensory memory stores for nonverbal stimuli share similar properties with respect to serial-position effects and persistence over time.

  14. Brief Emotion Regulation Training Facilitates Arousal Control During Sexual Stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Overveld, Mark; Borg, Charmaine

    2015-01-01

    Disgust, a negative emotion which evokes strong behavioral avoidance tendencies, has been associated with sexual dysfunction. Recently, it was postulated that healthy sexual functioning requires a balance between excitatory (increased sexual arousal) and inhibitory processes (lowered disgust levels). This suggests that amplification of excitatory processes (like sexual arousal) could be a valuable addition to treatments for affect-based sexual dysfunctions. The major aim of the present study was to establish whether up-regulation could effectively enhance arousal levels during sexual stimuli, and whether such a training would simultaneously reduce disgust. Students (N = 163, mean age = 20.73 years, SD = 2.35) were trained in up-regulation of affect using either a sexual arousal film (i.e., female-friendly erotic movie) or a threat arousal film clip (i.e., horror movie), while control groups viewed the films without training instructions. Following this, participants viewed and rated state emotions during a series of pictures (sexual, disgusting, or neutral). Up-regulation of mood successfully enhanced general arousal in both groups, yet these arousal levels were not paralleled by reductions in disgust. Overall, the findings indicate that emotion regulation training by maximizing positive affect and general arousal could be an effective instrument to facilitate affect-related disturbances in sexual dysfunctions.

  15. Effects of nicotine and nicotine expectancy on attentional bias for emotional stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Sally; Attwood, Angela S; Munafò, Marcus R

    2015-06-01

    Nicotine's effects on mood are thought to enhance its addictive potential. However, the mechanisms underlying the effects of nicotine on affect regulation have not been reliably demonstrated in human laboratory studies. We investigated the effects of nicotine abstinence (Experiment 1), and nicotine challenge and expectancy (Experiment 2) on attentional bias towards facial emotional stimuli differing in emotional valence. In Experiment 1, 46 nicotine-deprived smokers were randomized to either continue to abstain from smoking or to smoke immediately before testing. In Experiment 2, 96 nicotine-deprived smokers were randomized to smoke a nicotinized or denicotinized cigarette and to be told that the cigarette did or did not contain nicotine. In both experiments participants completed a visual probe task, where positively valenced (happy) and negatively valenced (sad) facial expressions were presented, together with neutral facial expressions. In Experiment 1, there was evidence of an interaction between probe location and abstinence on reaction time, indicating that abstinent smokers showed an attentional bias for neutral stimuli. In Experiment 2, there was evidence of an interaction between probe location, nicotine challenge and expectation on reaction time, indicating that smokers receiving nicotine, but told that they did not receive nicotine, showed an attentional bias for emotional stimuli. Our data suggest that nicotine abstinence appears to disrupt attentional bias towards emotional facial stimuli. These data provide support for nicotine's modulation of attentional bias as a central mechanism for maintaining affect regulation in cigarette smoking. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  16. Dynamic Stimuli And Active Processing In Human Visual Perception

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haber, Ralph N.

    1990-03-01

    Theories of visual perception traditionally have considered a static retinal image to be the starting point for processing; and has considered processing both to be passive and a literal translation of that frozen, two dimensional, pictorial image. This paper considers five problem areas in the analysis of human visually guided locomotion, in which the traditional approach is contrasted to newer ones that utilize dynamic definitions of stimulation, and an active perceiver: (1) differentiation between object motion and self motion, and among the various kinds of self motion (e.g., eyes only, head only, whole body, and their combinations); (2) the sources and contents of visual information that guide movement; (3) the acquisition and performance of perceptual motor skills; (4) the nature of spatial representations, percepts, and the perceived layout of space; and (5) and why the retinal image is a poor starting point for perceptual processing. These newer approaches argue that stimuli must be considered as dynamic: humans process the systematic changes in patterned light when objects move and when they themselves move. Furthermore, the processing of visual stimuli must be active and interactive, so that perceivers can construct panoramic and stable percepts from an interaction of stimulus information and expectancies of what is contained in the visual environment. These developments all suggest a very different approach to the computational analyses of object location and identification, and of the visual guidance of locomotion.

  17. Basic Emotions in the Nencki Affective Word List (NAWL BE): New Method of Classifying Emotional Stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wierzba, Małgorzata; Riegel, Monika; Wypych, Marek; Jednoróg, Katarzyna; Turnau, Paweł; Grabowska, Anna; Marchewka, Artur

    2015-01-01

    The Nencki Affective Word List (NAWL) has recently been introduced as a standardized database of Polish words suitable for studying various aspects of language and emotions. Though the NAWL was originally based on the most commonly used dimensional approach, it is not the only way of studying emotions. Another framework is based on discrete emotional categories. Since the two perspectives are recognized as complementary, the aim of the present study was to supplement the NAWL database by the addition of categories corresponding to basic emotions. Thus, 2902 Polish words from the NAWL were presented to 265 subjects, who were instructed to rate them according to the intensity of each of the five basic emotions: happiness, anger, sadness, fear and disgust. The general characteristics of the present word database, as well as the relationships between the studied variables are shown to be consistent with typical patterns found in previous studies using similar databases for different languages. Here we present the Basic Emotions in the Nencki Affective Word List (NAWL BE) as a database of verbal material suitable for highly controlled experimental research. To make the NAWL more convenient to use, we introduce a comprehensive method of classifying stimuli to basic emotion categories. We discuss the advantages of our method in comparison to other methods of classification. Additionally, we provide an interactive online tool (http://exp.lobi.nencki.gov.pl/nawl-analysis) to help researchers browse and interactively generate classes of stimuli to meet their specific requirements.

  18. Basic Emotions in the Nencki Affective Word List (NAWL BE: New Method of Classifying Emotional Stimuli.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Małgorzata Wierzba

    Full Text Available The Nencki Affective Word List (NAWL has recently been introduced as a standardized database of Polish words suitable for studying various aspects of language and emotions. Though the NAWL was originally based on the most commonly used dimensional approach, it is not the only way of studying emotions. Another framework is based on discrete emotional categories. Since the two perspectives are recognized as complementary, the aim of the present study was to supplement the NAWL database by the addition of categories corresponding to basic emotions. Thus, 2902 Polish words from the NAWL were presented to 265 subjects, who were instructed to rate them according to the intensity of each of the five basic emotions: happiness, anger, sadness, fear and disgust. The general characteristics of the present word database, as well as the relationships between the studied variables are shown to be consistent with typical patterns found in previous studies using similar databases for different languages. Here we present the Basic Emotions in the Nencki Affective Word List (NAWL BE as a database of verbal material suitable for highly controlled experimental research. To make the NAWL more convenient to use, we introduce a comprehensive method of classifying stimuli to basic emotion categories. We discuss the advantages of our method in comparison to other methods of classification. Additionally, we provide an interactive online tool (http://exp.lobi.nencki.gov.pl/nawl-analysis to help researchers browse and interactively generate classes of stimuli to meet their specific requirements.

  19. Preattentive processing, poststimulus elaboration, and memory for emotionally arousing stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Migita, Mai; Otani, Hajime; Libkuman, Terry M; Sheffert, Sonya M

    2011-01-01

    Christianson (1992) proposed two mechanisms to explain emotionally enhanced memory: preattentive processing and poststimulus elaboration. Experiment 1 examined these processes by instructing participants to perform (1) a concurrent distractor task, (2) a continuous distractor task, or (3) both while viewing the negatively arousing, positively arousing, and neutral pictures. Recall of negatively arousing pictures showed a small decline in one of the distractor conditions, indicating that elaboration plays a minor role in remembering these pictures. Experiment 2 partially replicated Experiment 1 with an intentional learning instruction to investigate whether participants in Experiment 1 were anticipating a recall test. For all three picture types, recall declined in the continuous distractor task condition, indicating that elaboration played a role, even when the pictures were negatively arousing. Overall, these results were consistent with the notion that remembering negatively valenced stimuli is largely based on preattentive processing with a minor role played by poststimulus elaboration.

  20. Emotional facilitation of sensory processing in the visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schupp, Harald T; Junghöfer, Markus; Weike, Almut I; Hamm, Alfons O

    2003-01-01

    A key function of emotion is the preparation for action. However, organization of successful behavioral strategies depends on efficient stimulus encoding. The present study tested the hypothesis that perceptual encoding in the visual cortex is modulated by the emotional significance of visual stimuli. Event-related brain potentials were measured while subjects viewed pleasant, neutral, and unpleasant pictures. Early selective encoding of pleasant and unpleasant images was associated with a posterior negativity, indicating primary sources of activation in the visual cortex. The study also replicated previous findings in that affective cues also elicited enlarged late positive potentials, indexing increased stimulus relevance at higher-order stages of stimulus processing. These results support the hypothesis that sensory encoding of affective stimuli is facilitated implicitly by natural selective attention. Thus, the affect system not only modulates motor output (i.e., favoring approach or avoidance dispositions), but already operates at an early level of sensory encoding.

  1. United we sense, divided we fail: context-driven perception of ambiguous visual stimuli.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Klink, P.C.; van Wezel, R.J.A.; van Ee, R.

    2012-01-01

    Ambiguous visual stimuli provide the brain with sensory information that contains conflicting evidence for multiple mutually exclusive interpretations. Two distinct aspects of the phenomenological experience associated with viewing ambiguous visual stimuli are the apparent stability of perception

  2. United we sense, divided we fail: context-driven perception of ambiguous visual stimuli

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Klink, P. C; van Wezel, Richard Jack Anton; van Ee, R.

    2012-01-01

    Ambiguous visual stimuli provide the brain with sensory information that contains conflicting evidence for multiple mutually exclusive interpretations. Two distinct aspects of the phenomenological experience associated with viewing ambiguous visual stimuli are the apparent stability of perception

  3. Audio-Visual Integration Modifies Emotional Judgment in Music

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shen-Yuan Su

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available The conventional view that perceived emotion in music is derived mainly from auditory signals has led to neglect of the contribution of visual image. In this study, we manipulated mode (major vs. minor and examined the influence of a video image on emotional judgment in music. Melodies in either major or minor mode were controlled for tempo and rhythm and played to the participants. We found that Taiwanese participants, like Westerners, judged major melodies as expressing positive, and minor melodies negative, emotions. The major or minor melodies were then paired with video images of the singers, which were either emotionally congruent or incongruent with their modes. Results showed that participants perceived stronger positive or negative emotions with congruent audio-visual stimuli. Compared to listening to music alone, stronger emotions were perceived when an emotionally congruent video image was added and weaker emotions were perceived when an incongruent image was added. We therefore demonstrate that mode is important to perceive the emotional valence in music and that treating musical art as a purely auditory event might lose the enhanced emotional strength perceived in music, since going to a concert may lead to stronger perceived emotion than listening to the CD at home.

  4. "Hot" Facilitation of "Cool" Processing: Emotional Distraction Can Enhance Priming of Visual Search

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kristjansson, Arni; Oladottir, Berglind; Most, Steven B.

    2013-01-01

    Emotional stimuli often capture attention and disrupt effortful cognitive processing. However, cognitive processes vary in the degree to which they require effort. We investigated the impact of emotional pictures on visual search and on automatic priming of search. Observers performed visual search after task-irrelevant neutral or emotionally…

  5. Cortical responses from adults and infants to complex visual stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulman-Galambos, C; Galambos, R

    1978-10-01

    Event-related potentials (ERPs) time-locked to the onset of visual stimuli were extracted from the EEG of normal adult (N = 16) and infant (N = 23) subjects. Subjects were not required to make any response. Stimuli delivered to the adults were 150 msec exposures of 2 sets of colored slides projected in 4 blocks, 2 in focus and 2 out of focus. Infants received 2-sec exposures of slides showing people, colored drawings or scenes from Disneyland, as well as 2-sec illuminations of the experimenter as she played a game or of a TV screen the baby was watching. The adult ERPs showed 6 waves (N1 through P4) in the 140--600-msec range; this included a positive wave at around 350 msec that was large when the stimuli were focused and smaller when they were not. The waves in the 150--200-msec range, by contrast, steadily dropped in amplitude as the experiment progressed. The infant ERPs differed greatly from the adult ones in morphology, usually showing a positive (latency about 200 msec)--negative(5--600msec)--positive(1000msec) sequence. This ERP appeared in all the stimulus conditions; its presence or absence, furthermore, was correlated with whether or not the baby seemed interested in the stimuli. Four infants failed to produce these ERPs; an independent measure of attention to the stimuli, heart rate deceleration, was demonstrated in two of them. An electrode placed beneath the eye to monitor eye movements yielded ERPs closely resembling those derived from the scalp in most subjects; reasons are given for assigning this response to activity in the brain, probably at the frontal pole. This study appears to be one of the first to search for cognitive 'late waves' in a no-task situation. The results suggest that further work with such task-free paradigms may yield additional useful techniques for studying the ERP.

  6. Pupillary Reactivity to Emotional Stimuli in Children of Depressed and Anxious Mothers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burkhouse, Katie L.; Siegle, Greg J.; Gibb, Brandon E.

    2014-01-01

    Background: The primary aim of this study was to examine differences in physiological reactivity (measured via pupillometry) to emotional stimuli between children of depressed versus nondepressed mothers. A second goal was to examine differences in pupil dilation to emotional stimuli between children of anxious versus nonanxious mothers. Method:…

  7. Development of the Korean Facial Emotion Stimuli: Korea University Facial Expression Collection 2nd Edition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sun-Min Kim

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Background: Developing valid emotional facial stimuli for specific ethnicities creates ample opportunities to investigate both the nature of emotional facial information processing in general and clinical populations as well as the underlying mechanisms of facial emotion processing within and across cultures. Given that most entries in emotional facial stimuli databases were developed with western samples, and given that very few of the eastern emotional facial stimuli sets were based strictly on the Ekman’s Facial Action Coding System, developing valid emotional facial stimuli of eastern samples remains a high priority.Aims: To develop and examine the psychometric properties of six basic emotional facial stimuli recruiting professional Korean actors and actresses based on the Ekman’s Facial Action Coding System for the Korea University Facial Expression Collection-Second Edition (KUFEC-II.Materials And Methods: Stimulus selection was done in two phases. First, researchers evaluated the clarity and intensity of each stimulus developed based on the Facial Action Coding System. Second, researchers selected a total of 399 stimuli from a total of 57 actors and actresses, which were then rated on accuracy, intensity, valence, and arousal by 75 independent raters.Conclusion: The hit rates between the targeted and rated expressions of the KUFEC-II were all above 80%, except for fear (50% and disgust (63%. The KUFEC-II appears to be a valid emotional facial stimuli database, providing the largest set of emotional facial stimuli. The mean intensity score was 5.63 (out of 7, suggesting that the stimuli delivered the targeted emotions with great intensity. All positive expressions were rated as having a high positive valence, whereas all negative expressions were rated as having a high negative valence. The KUFEC II is expected to be widely used in various psychological studies on emotional facial expression. KUFEC-II stimuli can be obtained through

  8. Hydrocortisone infusion exerts dose- and sex-dependent effects on attention to emotional stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breitberg, Alaina; Drevets, Wayne C; Wood, Suzanne E; Mah, Linda; Schulkin, Jay; Sahakian, Barbara J; Erickson, Kristine

    2013-03-01

    Glucocorticoid administration has been shown to exert complex effects on cognitive and emotional processing. In the current study we investigated the effects of glucocorticoid administration on attention towards emotional words, using an Affective Go/No-go task on which healthy humans have shown an attentional bias towards positive as compared to negative words. Healthy volunteers received placebo and either low-dose (0.15mg/kg) or high-dose (0.45mg/kg) hydrocortisone intravenously during two separate visits in a double-blind, randomized design. Seventy-five minutes post-infusion, the subjects performed tests of attention (Rapid Visual Information Processing [RVIP]), spatial working memory (Spatial Span) and emotional processing (Affective Go/No-go task [AGNG]). On the attention task, performance was impaired under both hydrocortisone doses relative to placebo, though the effect on error rate was not significant after controlling for age; Spatial Span performance was unaffected by hydrocortisone administration. On the AGNG task, relative to the placebo condition the low-dose hydrocortisone infusion decreased response time to emotional words while high-dose hydrocortisone increased response time. In the females specifically, both high and low dose hydrocortisone administration attenuated the normal attentional bias toward positively valenced words. These data suggest that, in healthy women, the modulation of attention by the emotional salience of stimuli is influenced by glucocorticoid hormone concentrations. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Visual laterality in dolphins: importance of the familiarity of stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Background Many studies of cerebral asymmetries in different species lead, on the one hand, to a better understanding of the functions of each cerebral hemisphere and, on the other hand, to develop an evolutionary history of hemispheric laterality. Our animal model is particularly interesting because of its original evolutionary path, i.e. return to aquatic life after a terrestrial phase. The rare reports concerning visual laterality of marine mammals investigated mainly discrimination processes. As dolphins are migrant species they are confronted to a changing environment. Being able to categorize new versus familiar objects would allow dolphins a rapid adaptation to novel environments. Visual laterality could be a prerequisite to this adaptability. To date, no study, to our knowledge, has analyzed the environmental factors that could influence their visual laterality. Results We investigated visual laterality expressed spontaneously at the water surface by a group of five common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in response to various stimuli. The stimuli presented ranged from very familiar objects (known and manipulated previously) to familiar objects (known but never manipulated) to unfamiliar objects (unknown, never seen previously). At the group level, dolphins used their left eye to observe very familiar objects and their right eye to observe unfamiliar objects. However, eyes are used indifferently to observe familiar objects with intermediate valence. Conclusion Our results suggest different visual cerebral processes based either on the global shape of well-known objects or on local details of unknown objects. Moreover, the manipulation of an object appears necessary for these dolphins to construct a global representation of an object enabling its immediate categorization for subsequent use. Our experimental results pointed out some cognitive capacities of dolphins which might be crucial for their wild life given their fission-fusion social system

  10. Visual laterality in dolphins: importance of the familiarity of stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Blois-Heulin Catherine

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Many studies of cerebral asymmetries in different species lead, on the one hand, to a better understanding of the functions of each cerebral hemisphere and, on the other hand, to develop an evolutionary history of hemispheric laterality. Our animal model is particularly interesting because of its original evolutionary path, i.e. return to aquatic life after a terrestrial phase. The rare reports concerning visual laterality of marine mammals investigated mainly discrimination processes. As dolphins are migrant species they are confronted to a changing environment. Being able to categorize new versus familiar objects would allow dolphins a rapid adaptation to novel environments. Visual laterality could be a prerequisite to this adaptability. To date, no study, to our knowledge, has analyzed the environmental factors that could influence their visual laterality. Results We investigated visual laterality expressed spontaneously at the water surface by a group of five common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus in response to various stimuli. The stimuli presented ranged from very familiar objects (known and manipulated previously to familiar objects (known but never manipulated to unfamiliar objects (unknown, never seen previously. At the group level, dolphins used their left eye to observe very familiar objects and their right eye to observe unfamiliar objects. However, eyes are used indifferently to observe familiar objects with intermediate valence. Conclusion Our results suggest different visual cerebral processes based either on the global shape of well-known objects or on local details of unknown objects. Moreover, the manipulation of an object appears necessary for these dolphins to construct a global representation of an object enabling its immediate categorization for subsequent use. Our experimental results pointed out some cognitive capacities of dolphins which might be crucial for their wild life given their

  11. The perception of visual emotion: comparing different measures of awareness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szczepanowski, Remigiusz; Traczyk, Jakub; Wierzchoń, Michał; Cleeremans, Axel

    2013-03-01

    Here, we explore the sensitivity of different awareness scales in revealing conscious reports on visual emotion perception. Participants were exposed to a backward masking task involving fearful faces and asked to rate their conscious awareness in perceiving emotion in facial expression using three different subjective measures: confidence ratings (CRs), with the conventional taxonomy of certainty, the perceptual awareness scale (PAS), through which participants categorize "raw" visual experience, and post-decision wagering (PDW), which involves economic categorization. Our results show that the CR measure was the most exhaustive and the most graded. In contrast, the PAS and PDW measures suggested instead that consciousness of emotional stimuli is dichotomous. Possible explanations of the inconsistency were discussed. Finally, our results also indicate that PDW biases awareness ratings by enhancing first-order accuracy of emotion perception. This effect was possibly a result of higher motivation induced by monetary incentives. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Selective visual attention to emotional words: Early parallel frontal and visual activations followed by interactive effects in visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schindler, Sebastian; Kissler, Johanna

    2016-10-01

    Human brains spontaneously differentiate between various emotional and neutral stimuli, including written words whose emotional quality is symbolic. In the electroencephalogram (EEG), emotional-neutral processing differences are typically reflected in the early posterior negativity (EPN, 200-300 ms) and the late positive potential (LPP, 400-700 ms). These components are also enlarged by task-driven visual attention, supporting the assumption that emotional content naturally drives attention. Still, the spatio-temporal dynamics of interactions between emotional stimulus content and task-driven attention remain to be specified. Here, we examine this issue in visual word processing. Participants attended to negative, neutral, or positive nouns while high-density EEG was recorded. Emotional content and top-down attention both amplified the EPN component in parallel. On the LPP, by contrast, emotion and attention interacted: Explicit attention to emotional words led to a substantially larger amplitude increase than did explicit attention to neutral words. Source analysis revealed early parallel effects of emotion and attention in bilateral visual cortex and a later interaction of both in right visual cortex. Distinct effects of attention were found in inferior, middle and superior frontal, paracentral, and parietal areas, as well as in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). Results specify separate and shared mechanisms of emotion and attention at distinct processing stages. Hum Brain Mapp 37:3575-3587, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. Stress Sensitive Healthy Females Show Less Left Amygdala Activation in Response to Withdrawal-Related Visual Stimuli under Passive Viewing Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baeken, Chris; Van Schuerbeek, Peter; De Raedt, Rudi; Vanderhasselt, Marie-Anne; De Mey, Johan; Bossuyt, Axel; Luypaert, Robert

    2012-01-01

    The amygdalae are key players in the processing of a variety of emotional stimuli. Especially aversive visual stimuli have been reported to attract attention and activate the amygdalae. However, as it has been argued that passively viewing withdrawal-related images could attenuate instead of activate amygdalae neuronal responses, its role under…

  14. Emotion and Attention Interaction: a trade-off between stimuli relevance, motivation and individual differences

    OpenAIRE

    Leticia eOliveira; Izabela eMocaiber; Isabel A David; Fatima eErthal; Eliane eVolchan; Mirtes ePereira

    2013-01-01

    Mounting evidence suggests that the neural processing of emotional stimuli is prioritized. However, whether the processing of emotional stimuli is dependent on attention remains debatable. Several studies have investigated this issue by testing the capacity of emotional distracters to divert processing resources from an attentional main task. The attentional load theory postulates that the perceptual load of the main task determines the selective processing of the distracter. Although we agre...

  15. Behavioral assessment of emotional and motivational appraisal during visual processing of emotional scenes depending on spatial frequencies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fradcourt, B; Peyrin, C; Baciu, M; Campagne, A

    2013-10-01

    Previous studies performed on visual processing of emotional stimuli have revealed preference for a specific type of visual spatial frequencies (high spatial frequency, HSF; low spatial frequency, LSF) according to task demands. The majority of studies used a face and focused on the appraisal of the emotional state of others. The present behavioral study investigates the relative role of spatial frequencies on processing emotional natural scenes during two explicit cognitive appraisal tasks, one emotional, based on the self-emotional experience and one motivational, based on the tendency to action. Our results suggest that HSF information was the most relevant to rapidly identify the self-emotional experience (unpleasant, pleasant, and neutral) while LSF was required to rapidly identify the tendency to action (avoidance, approach, and no action). The tendency to action based on LSF analysis showed a priority for unpleasant stimuli whereas the identification of emotional experience based on HSF analysis showed a priority for pleasant stimuli. The present study confirms the interest of considering both emotional and motivational characteristics of visual stimuli. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Multisensory training can promote or impede visual perceptual learning of speech stimuli: visual-tactile vs. visual-auditory training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eberhardt, Silvio P; Auer, Edward T; Bernstein, Lynne E

    2014-01-01

    In a series of studies we have been investigating how multisensory training affects unisensory perceptual learning with speech stimuli. Previously, we reported that audiovisual (AV) training with speech stimuli can promote auditory-only (AO) perceptual learning in normal-hearing adults but can impede learning in congenitally deaf adults with late-acquired cochlear implants. Here, impeder and promoter effects were sought in normal-hearing adults who participated in lipreading training. In Experiment 1, visual-only (VO) training on paired associations between CVCVC nonsense word videos and nonsense pictures demonstrated that VO words could be learned to a high level of accuracy even by poor lipreaders. In Experiment 2, visual-auditory (VA) training in the same paradigm but with the addition of synchronous vocoded acoustic speech impeded VO learning of the stimuli in the paired-associates paradigm. In Experiment 3, the vocoded AO stimuli were shown to be less informative than the VO speech. Experiment 4 combined vibrotactile speech stimuli with the visual stimuli during training. Vibrotactile stimuli were shown to promote visual perceptual learning. In Experiment 5, no-training controls were used to show that training with visual speech carried over to consonant identification of untrained CVCVC stimuli but not to lipreading words in sentences. Across this and previous studies, multisensory training effects depended on the functional relationship between pathways engaged during training. Two principles are proposed to account for stimulus effects: (1) Stimuli presented to the trainee's primary perceptual pathway will impede learning by a lower-rank pathway. (2) Stimuli presented to the trainee's lower rank perceptual pathway will promote learning by a higher-rank pathway. The mechanisms supporting these principles are discussed in light of multisensory reverse hierarchy theory (RHT).

  17. Recognizing vocal emotions in Mandarin Chinese: a validated database of Chinese vocal emotional stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Pan; Pell, Marc D

    2012-12-01

    To establish a valid database of vocal emotional stimuli in Mandarin Chinese, a set of Chinese pseudosentences (i.e., semantically meaningless sentences that resembled real Chinese) were produced by four native Mandarin speakers to express seven emotional meanings: anger, disgust, fear, sadness, happiness, pleasant surprise, and neutrality. These expressions were identified by a group of native Mandarin listeners in a seven-alternative forced choice task, and items reaching a recognition rate of at least three times chance performance in the seven-choice task were selected as a valid database and then subjected to acoustic analysis. The results demonstrated expected variations in both perceptual and acoustic patterns of the seven vocal emotions in Mandarin. For instance, fear, anger, sadness, and neutrality were associated with relatively high recognition, whereas happiness, disgust, and pleasant surprise were recognized less accurately. Acoustically, anger and pleasant surprise exhibited relatively high mean f0 values and large variation in f0 and amplitude; in contrast, sadness, disgust, fear, and neutrality exhibited relatively low mean f0 values and small amplitude variations, and happiness exhibited a moderate mean f0 value and f0 variation. Emotional expressions varied systematically in speech rate and harmonics-to-noise ratio values as well. This validated database is available to the research community and will contribute to future studies of emotional prosody for a number of purposes. To access the database, please contact pan.liu@mail.mcgill.ca.

  18. Patients with Parkinson's disease display a dopamine therapy related negative bias and an enlarged range in emotional responses to facial emotional stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lundqvist, Daniel; Svärd, Joakim; Michelgård Palmquist, Åsa; Fischer, Håkan; Svenningsson, Per

    2017-09-01

    The literature on emotional processing in Parkinson's disease (PD) patients shows mixed results. This may be because of various methodological and/or patient-related differences, such as failing to adjust for cognitive functioning, depression, and/or mood. In the current study, we tested PD patients and healthy controls (HCs) using emotional stimuli across a variety of tasks, including visual search, short-term memory (STM), categorical perception, and emotional stimulus rating. The PD and HC groups were matched on cognitive ability, depression, and mood. We also explored possible relationships between task results and antiparkinsonian treatment effects, as measured by levodopa equivalent dosages (LED), in the PD group. The results show that PD patients use a larger emotional range compared with HCs when reporting their impression of emotional faces on rated emotional valence, arousal, and potency. The results also show that dopaminergic therapy was correlated with stimulus rating results such that PD patients with higher LED scores rated negative faces as less arousing, less negative, and less powerful. Finally, results also show that PD patients display a general slowing effect in the visual search tasks compared with HCs, indicating overall slowed responses. There were no group differences observed in the STM or categorical perception tasks. Our results indicate a relationship between emotional responses, PD, and dopaminergic therapy, in which PD per se is associated with stronger emotional responses, whereas LED levels are negatively correlated with the strength of emotional responses. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  19. Premenstrual dysphoric disorder and prefrontal reactivity during anticipation of emotional stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gingnell, Malin; Bannbers, Elin; Wikström, Johan; Fredrikson, Mats; Sundström-Poromaa, Inger

    2013-11-01

    Premenstrual disorder (PMDD) affects around 5% of women in childbearing ages. An increased sensitivity in emotion processing areas of the brain to variations in ovarian steroid levels has been suggested as part of the pathophysiology in PMDD, but prior neuroimaging studies of emotion processing are yet inconclusive. Previous behavioral studies of women with PMDD have, however, reported enhanced luteal phase startle responsivity during emotional anticipation. Here we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate central neural circuitry activity during anticipation of, and exposure to, emotional stimuli across the menstrual cycle in women with and without PMDD. As compared to healthy controls, women with PMDD displayed significantly enhanced reactivity in the prefrontal cortex during anticipation of, but not exposure to, negative emotional stimuli during the luteal phase. In PMDD patients, BOLD reactivity during anticipation or viewing of negative emotional stimuli was not dependent on absolute levels of estradiol or progesterone. However, progesterone levels were positively correlated with emotion-induced reactivity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex to positive emotional stimuli. These findings suggest that cortical emotional circuitry reactivity during anticipation is altered in PMDD during the luteal phase, which might be part of the pathophysiology behind the emotional symptoms or lack of emotional control reported by women with PMDD. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP. All rights reserved.

  20. Temporal attention for visual food stimuli in restrained eaters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neimeijer, Renate A M; de Jong, Peter J; Roefs, Anne

    2013-05-01

    Although restrained eaters try to limit their food intake, they often fail and indulge in exactly those foods that they want to avoid. A possible explanation is a temporal attentional bias for food cues. It could be that for these people food stimuli are processed relatively efficiently and require less attentional resources to enter awareness. Once a food stimulus has captured attention, it may be preferentially processed and granted prioritized access to limited cognitive resources. This might help explain why restrained eaters often fail in their attempts to restrict their food intake. A Rapid Serial Visual Presentation task consisting of dual and single target trials with food and neutral pictures as targets and/or distractors was administered to restrained (n=40) and unrestrained (n=40) eaters to study temporal attentional bias. Results indicated that (1) food cues did not diminish the attentional blink in restrained eaters when presented as second target; (2) specifically restrained eaters showed an interference effect of identifying food targets on the identification of preceding neutral targets; (3) for both restrained and unrestrained eaters, food cues enhanced the attentional blink; (4) specifically in restrained eaters, food distractors elicited an attention blink in the single target trials. In restrained eaters, food cues get prioritized access to limited cognitive resources, even if this processing priority interferes with their current goals. This temporal attentional bias for food stimuli might help explain why restrained eaters typically have difficulties maintaining their diet rules. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Physiological and behavioral reactions elicited by simulated and real-life visual and acoustic helicopter stimuli in dairy goats

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Background Anecdotal reports and a few scientific publications suggest that flyovers of helicopters at low altitude may elicit fear- or anxiety-related behavioral reactions in grazing feral and farm animals. We investigated the behavioral and physiological stress reactions of five individually housed dairy goats to different acoustic and visual stimuli from helicopters and to combinations of these stimuli under controlled environmental (indoor) conditions. The visual stimuli were helicopter animations projected on a large screen in front of the enclosures of the goats. Acoustic and visual stimuli of a tractor were also presented. On the final day of the study the goats were exposed to two flyovers (altitude 50 m and 75 m) of a Chinook helicopter while grazing in a pasture. Salivary cortisol, behavior, and heart rate of the goats were registered before, during and after stimulus presentations. Results The goats reacted alert to the visual and/or acoustic stimuli that were presented in their room. They raised their heads and turned their ears forward in the direction of the stimuli. There was no statistically reliable rise of the average velocity of moving of the goats in their enclosure and no increase of the duration of moving during presentation of the stimuli. Also there was no increase in heart rate or salivary cortisol concentration during the indoor test sessions. Surprisingly, no physiological and behavioral stress responses were observed during the flyover of a Chinook at 50 m, which produced a peak noise of 110 dB. Conclusions We conclude that the behavior and physiology of goats are unaffected by brief episodes of intense, adverse visual and acoustic stimulation such as the sight and noise of overflying helicopters. The absence of a physiological stress response and of elevated emotional reactivity of goats subjected to helicopter stimuli is discussed in relation to the design and testing schedule of this study. PMID:21496239

  2. Emotional content enhances true but not false memory for categorized stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Hae-Yoon; Kensinger, Elizabeth A; Rajaram, Suparna

    2013-04-01

    Past research has shown that emotion enhances true memory, but that emotion can either increase or decrease false memory. Two theoretical possibilities-the distinctiveness of emotional stimuli and the conceptual relatedness of emotional content-have been implicated as being responsible for influencing both true and false memory for emotional content. In the present study, we sought to identify the mechanisms that underlie these mixed findings by equating the thematic relatedness of the study materials across each type of valence used (negative, positive, or neutral). In three experiments, categorically bound stimuli (e.g., funeral, pets, and office items) were used for this purpose. When the encoding task required the processing of thematic relatedness, a significant true-memory enhancement for emotional content emerged in recognition memory, but no emotional boost to false memory (exp. 1). This pattern persisted for true memory with a longer retention interval between study and test (24 h), and false recognition was reduced for emotional items (exp. 2). Finally, better recognition memory for emotional items once again emerged when the encoding task (arousal ratings) required the processing of the emotional aspect of the study items, with no emotional boost to false recognition (EXP. 3). Together, these findings suggest that when emotional and neutral stimuli are equivalently high in thematic relatedness, emotion continues to improve true memory, but it does not override other types of grouping to increase false memory.

  3. Does the amygdala response correlate with the personality trait 'harm avoidance' while evaluating emotional stimuli explicitly?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Schuerbeek, Peter; Baeken, Chris; Luypaert, Robert; De Raedt, Rudi; De Mey, Johan

    2014-05-07

    The affective personality trait 'harm avoidance' (HA) from Cloninger's psychobiological personality model determines how an individual deals with emotional stimuli. Emotional stimuli are processed by a neural network that include the left and right amygdalae as important key nodes. Explicit, implicit and passive processing of affective stimuli are known to activate the amygdalae differently reflecting differences in attention, level of detailed analysis of the stimuli and the cognitive control needed to perform the required task. Previous studies revealed that implicit processing or passive viewing of affective stimuli, induce a left amygdala response that correlates with HA. In this new study we have tried to extend these findings to the situation in which the subjects were required to explicitly process emotional stimuli. A group of healthy female participants was asked to rate the valence of positive and negative stimuli while undergoing fMRI. Afterwards the neural responses of the participants to the positive and to the negative stimuli were separately correlated to their HA scores and compared between the low and high HA participants. Both analyses revealed increased neural activity in the left laterobasal (LB) amygdala of the high HA participants while they were rating the positive and the negative stimuli. Our results indicate that the left amygdala response to explicit processing of affective stimuli does correlate with HA.

  4. The presence of a culturally similar or dissimilar social partner affects neural responses to emotional stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kate A. Woodcock

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Background: Emotional responding is sensitive to social context; however, little emphasis has been placed on the mechanisms by which social context effects changes in emotional responding. Objective: We aimed to investigate the effects of social context on neural responses to emotional stimuli to inform on the mechanisms underpinning context-linked changes in emotional responding. Design: We measured event-related potential (ERP components known to index specific emotion processes and self-reports of explicit emotion regulation strategies and emotional arousal. Female Chinese university students observed positive, negative, and neutral photographs, whilst alone or accompanied by a culturally similar (Chinese or dissimilar researcher (British. Results: There was a reduction in the positive versus neutral differential N1 amplitude (indexing attentional capture by positive stimuli in the dissimilar relative to alone context. In this context, there was also a corresponding increase in amplitude of a frontal late positive potential (LPP component (indexing engagement of cognitive control resources. In the similar relative to alone context, these effects on differential N1 and frontal LPP amplitudes were less pronounced, but there was an additional decrease in the amplitude of a parietal LPP component (indexing motivational relevance in response to positive stimuli. In response to negative stimuli, the differential N1 component was increased in the similar relative to dissimilar and alone (trend context. Conclusion: These data suggest that neural processes engaged in response to emotional stimuli are modulated by social context. Possible mechanisms for the social-context-linked changes in attentional capture by emotional stimuli include a context-directed modulation of the focus of attention, or an altered interpretation of the emotional stimuli based on additional information proportioned by the context.

  5. Judgment and memory performance for emotional stimuli in patients with alcoholic Korsakoff syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Labudda, Kirsten; Todorovski, Saso; Markowitsch, Hans J; Brand, Matthias

    2008-02-01

    In this study we investigated whether alcoholic Korsakoff patients are impaired in categorizing neutral and emotional stimuli according to their valence and whether memory performance for this material is reduced. In a group of Korsakoff patients and a comparison group two experimental tasks--one containing emotional and neutral pictures and the other containing words-were administered. Results showed that patients had difficulties in affective judgments due to problems in classifying neutral stimuli. Memory for emotional and neutral material was impaired to a similar degree. Thus, the facilitating effect of emotional valence on memory performance is absent in Korsakoff patients.

  6. Depersonalization disorder: disconnection of cognitive evaluation from autonomic responses to emotional stimuli.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthias Michal

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Patients with depersonalization disorder (DPD typically complain about emotional detachment. Previous studies found reduced autonomic responsiveness to emotional stimuli for DPD patients as compared to patients with anxiety disorders. We aimed to investigate autonomic responsiveness to emotional auditory stimuli of DPD patients as compared to patient controls. Furthermore, we examined the modulatory effect of mindful breathing on these responses as well as on depersonalization intensity. METHODS: 22 DPD patients and 15 patient controls balanced for severity of depression and anxiety, age, sex and education, were compared regarding 1 electrodermal and heart rate data during a resting period, and 2 autonomic responses and cognitive appraisal of standardized acoustic affective stimuli in two conditions (normal listening and mindful breathing. RESULTS: DPD patients rated the emotional sounds as significantly more neutral as compared to patient controls and standardized norm ratings. At the same time, however, they responded more strongly to acoustic emotional stimuli and their electrodermal response pattern was more modulated by valence and arousal as compared to patient controls. Mindful breathing reduced severity of depersonalization in DPD patients and increased the arousal modulation of electrodermal responses in the whole sample. Finally, DPD patients showed an increased electrodermal lability in the rest period as compared to patient controls. CONCLUSIONS: These findings demonstrated that the cognitive evaluation of emotional sounds in DPD patients is disconnected from their autonomic responses to those emotional stimuli. The increased electrodermal lability in DPD may reflect increased introversion and cognitive control of emotional impulses. The findings have important psychotherapeutic implications.

  7. Differences in male and female subjective experience and physiological reactions to emotional stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poláčková Šolcová, Iva; Lačev, Alek

    2017-07-01

    Research based on self-reported data often indicates that women are the more emotional sex. The present study examined differences in emotion between the sexes across two components of the emotional process: subjective experience and physiological reactions to emotional stimuli. During the experimental study, participants (N=124; 22.5±2.88; 51 males) subjectively rated their emotional experience (valence and intensity) towards presented positive and negative affective stimuli, while physiological reactions (facial electromyography, heart rate, skin conductance, and finger skin temperature) were measured during expositions. Results from self-reports suggest that women declared more intensive emotional experiences for positive and negative stimuli and rated negative stimuli as more negative in comparison to men. Physiological measurements showed differences between the sexes in the physiological baseline measurements (facial electromyography, skin conductance and finger skin temperature). However, physiological responses towards positive or negative emotional stimuli did not prove to be different between men and women, except for finger skin temperature. Relations between self-reported subjective experiences and physiological changes were weak and insignificant. Collectively, our findings suggest certain emotional differences experienced between men and women. These differences can be found specifically in self-reported subjective experiences, while significant differences were not predominantly present in recorded physiological reactions. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  8. Visual Working Memory Capacity for Emotional Facial Expressions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Domagoj Švegar

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available The capacity of visual working memory is limited to no more than four items. At the same time, it is limited not only by the number of objects, but also by the total amount of information that needs to be memorized, and the relation between the information load per object and the number of objects that can be stored into visual working memory is inverse. The objective of the present experiment was to compute visual working memory capacity for emotional facial expressions, and in order to do so, change detection tasks were applied. Pictures of human emotional facial expressions were presented to 24 participants in 1008 experimental trials, each of which began with a presentation of a fixation mark, which was followed by a short simultaneous presentation of six emotional facial expressions. After that, a blank screen was presented, and after such inter-stimulus interval, one facial expression was presented at one of previously occupied locations. Participants had to answer if the facial expression presented at test is different or identical as the expression presented at that same location before the retention interval. Memory capacity was estimated through accuracy of responding, by the formula constructed by Pashler (1988, adopted from signal detection theory. It was found that visual working memory capacity for emotional facial expressions equals 3.07, which is high compared to capacity for facial identities and other visual stimuli. The obtained results were explained within the framework of evolutionary psychology.

  9. Parsing cognitive and emotional empathy deficits for negative and positive stimuli in frontotemporal dementia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliver, Lindsay D; Mitchell, Derek G V; Dziobek, Isabel; MacKinley, Julia; Coleman, Kristy; Rankin, Katherine P; Finger, Elizabeth C

    2015-01-01

    Behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) is a debilitating neurodegenerative disorder characterized by frontal and temporal lobe atrophy primarily affecting social cognition and emotion, including loss of empathy. Many consider empathy to be a multidimensional construct, including cognitive empathy (the ability to adopt and understand another's perspective) and emotional empathy (the capacity to share another's emotional experience). Cognitive and emotional empathy deficits have been associated with bvFTD; however, little is known regarding the performance of patients with bvFTD on behavioural measures of emotional empathy, and whether empathic responses differ for negative versus positive stimuli. 24 patients with bvFTD and 24 healthy controls completed the Multifaceted Empathy Test (MET; Dziobek et al., 2008), a performance-based task that taps both cognitive and emotional facets of empathy, and allows for the discrimination of responses to negative versus positive realistic images. MET scores were also compared with caregiver ratings of patient behaviour on the Interpersonal Reactivity Index, which assesses patients' everyday demonstrations of perspective taking and empathic concern. Patients with bvFTD were less accurate than controls at inferring mental states for negative and positive stimuli. They also demonstrated lower levels of shared emotional experience, more positive emotional reactions, and diminished arousal to negative social stimuli relative to controls. Patients showed reduced emotional reactions to negative non-social stimuli as well. Lastly, the MET and IRI measures of emotional empathy were found to be significantly correlated within the bvFTD group. The results suggest that patients with bvFTD show a global deficit in cognitive empathy, and deficient emotional empathy for negative, but not positive, experiences. Further, a generalized emotional processing impairment for negative stimuli was observed, which could contribute to the

  10. Brain processing of visual sexual stimuli in healthy men: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mouras, Harold; Stoléru, Serge; Bittoun, Jacques; Glutron, Dominique; Pélégrini-Issac, Mélanie; Paradis, Anne-Lise; Burnod, Yves

    2003-10-01

    The brain plays a central role in sexual motivation. To identify cerebral areas whose activation was correlated with sexual desire, eight healthy male volunteers were studied with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Visual stimuli were sexually stimulating photographs (S condition) and emotionally neutral photographs (N condition). Subjective responses pertaining to sexual desire were recorded after each condition. To image the entire brain, separate runs focused on the upper and the lower parts of the brain. Statistical Parametric Mapping was used for data analysis. Subjective ratings confirmed that sexual pictures effectively induced sexual arousal. In the S condition compared to the N condition, a group analysis conducted on the upper part of the brain demonstrated an increased signal in the parietal lobes (superior parietal lobules, left intraparietal sulcus, left inferior parietal lobule, and right postcentral gyrus), the right parietooccipital sulcus, the left superior occipital gyrus, and the precentral gyri. In addition, a decreased signal was recorded in the right posterior cingulate gyrus and the left precuneus. In individual analyses conducted on the lower part of the brain, an increased signal was found in the right and/or left middle occipital gyrus in seven subjects, and in the right and/or left fusiform gyrus in six subjects. In conclusion, fMRI allows to identify brain responses to visual sexual stimuli. Among activated regions in the S condition, parietal areas are known to be involved in attentional processes directed toward motivationally relevant stimuli, while frontal premotor areas have been implicated in motor preparation and motor imagery. Further work is needed to identify those specific features of the neural responses that distinguish sexual desire from other emotional and motivational states.

  11. Effects of testosterone on attention and memory for emotional stimuli in male rhesus monkeys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Hanna M; Kurdziel, Laura B; Meyer, Jerrold S; Lacreuse, Agnès

    2012-03-01

    Increasing evidence in humans and other animals suggests that testosterone (T) plays an important role in modulating emotion. We previously reported that T treatment in rhesus monkeys undergoing chemically induced hypogonadism results in increased watching time of videos depicting fights between unfamiliar conspecifics (Lacreuse et al., 2010). In the current study, we aimed to further investigate the effect of T manipulations on attention and memory for emotional stimuli in male rhesus monkeys. Six males (7 years old) were administered Depot Lupron to suppress endogenous T levels and treated with either testosterone enanthate (TE, 5 mg/kg) or oil, before crossing over to the alternate treatment. Animals were tested for 16 weeks on two computerized touchscreen tasks with both social and nonsocial emotional and neutral stimuli. The Dot-Probe task was used to measure attention, and the Delayed-Non-Matching-to-Sample task with a 1s delay (DNMS) was used to measure recognition memory for these stimuli. Performance on the two tasks was examined during each of four month-long phases: Baseline, Lupron alone, Lupron+TE and Lupron+oil. It was predicted that T administration would lead to increased attention to negative social stimuli (i.e., negative facial expressions of unfamiliar conspecifics) and would improve memory for such stimuli. We found no evidence to support these predictions. In the Dot-Probe task, an attentional bias towards negative social stimuli was observed at baseline, but T treatment did not enhance this bias. Instead, monkeys had faster response times when treated with T compared to oil, independently of the emotional valence or social relevance of stimuli, perhaps reflecting an enhancing effect of T on reward sensitivity or general arousal. In the DNMS, animals had better memory for nonsocial compared to social stimuli and showed the poorest performance in the recognition of positive facial expressions. However, T did not affect performance on the task

  12. Perceived duration of visual and tactile stimuli depends on perceived speed

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alice eTomassini

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available It is known that the perceived duration of visual stimuli is strongly influenced by speed: faster moving stimuli appear to last longer. To test whether this is a general property of sensory systems we asked participants to reproduce the duration of visual and tactile gratings, and visuo-tactile gratings moving at a variable speed (3.5 – 15 cm/s for three different durations (400, 600 and 800 ms. For both modalities, the apparent duration of the stimulus increased strongly with stimulus speed, more so for tactile than for visual stimuli. In addition, visual stimuli were perceived to last approximately 200 ms longer than tactile stimuli. The apparent duration of visuo-tactile stimuli lay between the unimodal estimates, as the Bayesian account predicts, but the bimodal precision of the reproduction did not show the theoretical improvement. A cross-modal speed-matching task revealed that visual stimuli were perceived to move faster than tactile stimuli. To test whether the large difference in the perceived duration of visual and tactile stimuli resulted from the difference in their perceived speed, we repeated the time reproduction task with visual and tactile stimuli matched in apparent speed. This reduced, but did not completely eliminate the difference in apparent duration. These results show that for both vision and touch, perceived duration depends on speed, pointing to common strategies of time perception.

  13. Retro-Active Emotion: Do Negative Emotional Stimuli Disrupt Consolidation in Working Memory?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Güven Kandemir

    Full Text Available While many studies have shown that a task-irrelevant emotionally arousing stimulus can interfere with the processing of a shortly following target, it remains unclear whether an emotional stimulus can also retro-actively interrupt the ongoing processing of an earlier target. In two experiments, we examined whether the presentation of a negative emotionally arousing picture can disrupt working memory consolidation of a preceding visual target. In both experiments, the effects of negative emotional pictures were compared with the effects of neutral pictures. In Experiment 1, the pictures were entirely task-irrelevant whereas in Experiment 2 the pictures were associated with a 2-alternative forced choice task that required participants to respond to the color of a frame surrounding the pictures. The results showed that the appearance of the pictures did not interfere with target consolidation when the pictures were task-irrelevant, whereas such interference was observed when the pictures were associated with a 2-AFC task. Most importantly, however, the results showed no effects of whether the picture had neutral or emotional content. Implications for further research are discussed.

  14. Comparison of EEG propagation speeds under emotional stimuli on smartphone between the different anxiety states

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asakawa, Tetsuya; Muramatsu, Ayumi; Hayashi, Takuto; Urata, Tatsuya; Taya, Masato; Mizuno-Matsumoto, Yuko

    2014-01-01

    The current study evaluated the effect of different anxiety states on information processing as measured by an electroencephalography (EEG) using emotional stimuli on a smartphone. Twenty-three healthy subjects were assessed for their anxiety states using The State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) and divided into two groups: low anxiety (I, II) or high anxiety (III and IV, V). An EEG was performed while the participant was presented with emotionally laden audiovisual stimuli (resting, pleasant, and unpleasant sessions) and emotionally laden sentence stimuli (pleasant sentence, unpleasant sentence sessions) and EEG data was analyzed using propagation speed analysis. The propagation speed of the low anxiety group at the medial coronal for resting stimuli for all time segments was higher than those of high anxiety group. The low anxiety group propagation speeds at the medial sagittal for unpleasant stimuli in the 0–30 and 60–150 s time frames were higher than those of high anxiety group. The propagation speeds at 150 s for all stimuli in the low anxiety group were significantly higher than the correspondent propagation speeds of the high anxiety group. These events suggest that neural information processes concerning emotional stimuli differ based on current anxiety state. PMID:25540618

  15. Low self-esteem elicits greater mobilization of attentional resources toward emotional stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Haijiang; Yang, Juan

    2013-08-26

    Previous findings are generally consistent with the notion that individuals with low self-esteem tends to easily orient their attention on negative stimuli. The main objective of the present study was to further investigate the time course of attention deployment to positive (happy) and negative (angry) facial expressions in visual probe task using event-related potentials (ERP) technology in 15 high versus 15 low self-esteem participants while they viewed pairs of faces (e.g., happy face paired with neutral face or angry face paired with neutral face) shown for 500 ms and followed by a probe. Behavioral results showed that individuals with low self-esteem simply had faster manual reaction times on the entire task. ERP results showed that individuals with low self-esteem, but not high self-esteem, displayed increased P1 and N1 activity to both happy and angry facial expression. These findings suggest that emotional stimuli (angry faces and happy faces) elicited greater mobilization of attentional resources in individuals with low self-esteem. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Emotion based attentional priority for storage in visual short-term memory.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luca Simione

    Full Text Available A plethora of research demonstrates that the processing of emotional faces is prioritised over non-emotive stimuli when cognitive resources are limited (this is known as 'emotional superiority'. However, there is debate as to whether competition for processing resources results in emotional superiority per se, or more specifically, threat superiority. Therefore, to investigate prioritisation of emotional stimuli for storage in visual short-term memory (VSTM, we devised an original VSTM report procedure using schematic (angry, happy, neutral faces in which processing competition was manipulated. In Experiment 1, display exposure time was manipulated to create competition between stimuli. Participants (n = 20 had to recall a probed stimulus from a set size of four under high (150 ms array exposure duration and low (400 ms array exposure duration perceptual processing competition. For the high competition condition (i.e. 150 ms exposure, results revealed an emotional superiority effect per se. In Experiment 2 (n = 20, we increased competition by manipulating set size (three versus five stimuli, whilst maintaining a constrained array exposure duration of 150 ms. Here, for the five-stimulus set size (i.e. maximal competition only threat superiority emerged. These findings demonstrate attentional prioritisation for storage in VSTM for emotional faces. We argue that task demands modulated the availability of processing resources and consequently the relative magnitude of the emotional/threat superiority effect, with only threatening stimuli prioritised for storage in VSTM under more demanding processing conditions. Our results are discussed in light of models and theories of visual selection, and not only combine the two strands of research (i.e. visual selection and emotion, but highlight a critical factor in the processing of emotional stimuli is availability of processing resources, which is further constrained by task demands.

  17. The relationship between age and brain response to visual erotic stimuli in healthy heterosexual males.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seo, Y; Jeong, B; Kim, J-W; Choi, J

    2010-01-01

    The various changes of sexuality, including decreased sexual desire and erectile dysfunction, are also accompanied with aging. To understand the effect of aging on sexuality, we explored the relationship between age and the visual erotic stimulation-related brain response in sexually active male subjects. Twelve healthy, heterosexual male subjects (age 22-47 years) were recorded the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) signals of their brain activation elicited by passive viewing erotic (ERO), happy-faced (HA) couple, food and nature pictures. Mixed effect analysis and correlation analysis were performed to investigate the relationship between the age and the change of brain activity elicited by erotic stimuli. Our results showed age was positively correlated with the activation of right occipital fusiform gyrus and amygdala, and negatively correlated with the activation of right insula and inferior frontal gyrus. These findings suggest age might be related with functional decline in brain regions being involved in both interoceptive sensation and prefrontal modulation while it is related with the incremental activity of the brain region for early processing of visual emotional stimuli in sexually healthy men.

  18. Brief Emotion Regulation Training Facilitates Arousal Control During Sexual Stimuli

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Overveld, Mark; Borg, Charmaine

    2015-01-01

    Disgust, a negative emotion which evokes strong behavioral avoidance tendencies, has been associated with sexual dysfunction. Recently, it was postulated that healthy sexual functioning requires a balance between excitatory (increased sexual arousal) and inhibitory processes (lowered disgust

  19. Clinical features and subjective/physiological responses to emotional stimuli in the presence of emotion dysregulation in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taskiran, Candan; Karaismailoglu, Serkan; Cak Esen, Halime Tuna; Tuzun, Zeynep; Erdem, Aysen; Balkanci, Zeynep Dicle; Dolgun, Anil Barak; Cengel Kultur, Sadriye Ebru

    2018-05-01

    Emotion dysregulation (ED) has long been recognized in clinical descriptions of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but a renewed interest in ED has advanced research on the overlap between the two entities. Autonomic reactivity (AR) is a neurobiological correlate of emotion regulation; however, the association between ADHD and AR remains unclear. Our aim was to explore the clinical differences, AR, and subjective emotional responses to visual emotional stimuli in ADHD children with and without ED. School-aged ADHD children with (n = 28) and without (n = 20) ED, according to the definition of deficiency in emotional self-regulation (DESR), and healthy controls (n = 22) were interviewed by using the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School Aged Children-Present and Lifetime version (K-SADS-PL) to screen frequent psychopathologies for these ages. All subjects were evaluated with Child Behavior Checklist 6-18 (CBCL), the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), the McMaster Family Assessment Device (FAD), the School-Age Temperament Inventory (SATI), and Conners' Parent Rating Scale (CPRS-48), which were completed by parents. To evaluate emotional responses, the International Affective Picture System (IAPS) and the subjective and physiological responses (electrodermal activity and heart rate reactivity) to selected pictures were examined. Regarding clinically distinctive features, the ADHD+ED group differed from the ADHD-ED and the control groups in terms of having higher temperamental negative reactivity, more oppositional/conduct problems, and lower prosocial behaviors. In the AR measures, children in the ADHD+ED group rated unpleasant stimuli as more negative, but they still had lower heart rate reactivity (HRR) than the ADHD-ED and control groups; moreover, unlike the two other groups, the ADHD+ED group showed no differences in HRR between different emotional stimuli. The presented findings are unique in terms of their

  20. How stimuli presentation format affects visual attention and choice outcomes in choice experiments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Orquin, Jacob Lund; Mueller Loose, Simone

    This study analyses visual attention and part-worth utilities in choice experiments across three different choice stimuli presentation formats. Visual attention and choice behaviour in discrete choice experiments are found to be strongly affected by stimuli presentation format. These results...

  1. Emotional reactivity to social stimuli in patients with eating disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tapajóz P de Sampaio, Fernanda; Soneira, Sebastian; Aulicino, Alfredo; Harris, Paula; Allegri, Ricardo Francisco

    2015-10-30

    Patients with eating disorders often display a wide range of difficulties in psychosocial functioning. Most of the studies on this subject have focused on theory of mind; however, little is known about the subjective emotional reactivity of patients to social situations. The aim of this study was to evaluate the patients' perceptions of their own emotions when viewing pictures with social content. Emotional reactivity was assessed in 85 women (29 with anorexia nervosa, 28 with bulimia nervosa, and 28 healthy controls) by using 30 images from the International Affective Picture System. Images were divided into categories based on its social content and its emotional valence. The emotional response was evaluated through the Self-Assessment Manikin. Patients with bulimia nervosa presented higher arousal and lower control when viewing images with social content of pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral valence. Patients with anorexia nervosa reported higher arousal and lower control only for social images with neutral valence. There were no differences between groups for the control images. The finding of specific differences in emotional reactivity to pictures with social content contributes to a more accurate understanding of the difficulties of patients in social situations. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Mid-adolescent neurocognitive development of ignoring and attending emotional stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nora C. Vetter

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Appropriate reactions toward emotional stimuli depend on the distribution of prefrontal attentional resources. In mid-adolescence, prefrontal top-down control systems are less engaged, while subcortical bottom-up emotional systems are more engaged. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to follow the neural development of attentional distribution, i.e. attending versus ignoring emotional stimuli, in adolescence. 144 healthy adolescents were studied longitudinally at age 14 and 16 while performing a perceptual discrimination task. Participants viewed two pairs of stimuli – one emotional, one abstract – and reported on one pair whether the items were the same or different, while ignoring the other pair. Hence, two experimental conditions were created: “attending emotion/ignoring abstract” and “ignoring emotion/attending abstract”. Emotional valence varied between negative, positive, and neutral. Across conditions, reaction times and error rates decreased and activation in the anterior cingulate and inferior frontal gyrus increased from age 14 to 16. In contrast, subcortical regions showed no developmental effect. Activation of the anterior insula increased across ages for attending positive and ignoring negative emotions. Results suggest an ongoing development of prefrontal top-down resources elicited by emotional attention from age 14 to 16 while activity of subcortical regions representing bottom-up processing remains stable.

  3. Sex differences in brain activation to emotional stimuli: a meta-analysis of neuroimaging studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevens, Jennifer S; Hamann, Stephan

    2012-06-01

    Substantial sex differences in emotional responses and perception have been reported in previous psychological and psychophysiological studies. For example, women have been found to respond more strongly to negative emotional stimuli, a sex difference that has been linked to an increased risk of depression and anxiety disorders. The extent to which such sex differences are reflected in corresponding differences in regional brain activation remains a largely unresolved issue, however, in part because relatively few neuroimaging studies have addressed this issue. Here, by conducting a quantitative meta-analysis of neuroimaging studies, we were able to substantially increase statistical power to detect sex differences relative to prior studies, by combining emotion studies which explicitly examined sex differences with the much larger number of studies that examined only women or men. We used an activation likelihood estimation approach to characterize sex differences in the likelihood of regional brain activation elicited by emotional stimuli relative to non-emotional stimuli. We examined sex differences separately for negative and positive emotions, in addition to examining all emotions combined. Sex differences varied markedly between negative and positive emotion studies. The majority of sex differences favoring women were observed for negative emotion, whereas the majority of the sex differences favoring men were observed for positive emotion. This valence-specificity was particularly evident for the amygdala. For negative emotion, women exhibited greater activation than men in the left amygdala, as well as in other regions including the left thalamus, hypothalamus, mammillary bodies, left caudate, and medial prefrontal cortex. In contrast, for positive emotion, men exhibited greater activation than women in the left amygdala, as well as greater activation in other regions including the bilateral inferior frontal gyrus and right fusiform gyrus. These meta

  4. Visual arts training is linked to flexible attention to local and global levels of visual stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chamberlain, Rebecca; Wagemans, Johan

    2015-10-01

    Observational drawing skill has been shown to be associated with the ability to focus on local visual details. It is unclear whether superior performance in local processing is indicative of the ability to attend to, and flexibly switch between, local and global levels of visual stimuli. It is also unknown whether these attentional enhancements remain specific to observational drawing skill or are a product of a wide range of artistic activities. The current study aimed to address these questions by testing if flexible visual processing predicts artistic group membership and observational drawing skill in a sample of first-year bachelor's degree art students (n=23) and non-art students (n=23). A pattern of local and global visual processing enhancements was found in relation to artistic group membership and drawing skill, with local processing ability found to be specifically related to individual differences in drawing skill. Enhanced global processing and more fluent switching between local and global levels of hierarchical stimuli predicted both drawing skill and artistic group membership, suggesting that these are beneficial attentional mechanisms for art-making in a range of domains. These findings support a top-down attentional model of artistic expertise and shed light on the domain specific and domain-general attentional enhancements induced by proficiency in the visual arts. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Neural processing of food and emotional stimuli in adolescent and adult anorexia nervosa patients

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forster, Clemens; Dörfler, Arnd; Lindsiepe, Silja; Heinrich, Hartmut; Graap, Holmer; Moll, Gunther H.; Kratz, Oliver

    2018-01-01

    Background A constant preoccupation with food and restrictive eating are main symptoms of anorexia nervosa (AN). Imaging studies revealed aberrant neural activation patterns in brain regions processing hedonic and reward reactions as well as–potentially aversive–emotions. An imbalance between so called “bottom-up” and “top-down” control areas is discussed. The present study is focusing on neural processing of disease-specific food stimuli and emotional stimuli and its developmental course in adolescent and adult AN patients and could offer new insight into differential mechanisms underlying shorter or more chronic disease. Methods 33 adolescents aged 12–18 years (15 AN patients, 18 control participants) and 32 adult women (16 AN patients, 16 control participants) underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI, 3T high-field scanner) while watching pictures of high and low-calorie food and affective stimuli. Afterwards, they rated subjective valence of each picture. FMRI data analysis was performed using a region of interest based approach. Results Pictures of high-calorie food items were rated more negatively by AN patients. Differences in activation between patients and controls were found in “bottom up” and “top down” control areas for food stimuli and in several emotion processing regions for affective stimuli which were more pronounced in adolescents than in adults. Conclusion A differential pattern was seen for food stimuli compared to generally emotion eliciting stimuli. Adolescents with AN show reduced processing of affective stimuli and enhanced activation of regions involved in “bottom up” reward processing and “top down” control as well as the insula with regard to food stimuli with a focus on brain regions which underlie changes during adolescent development. In adults less clear and less specific activation differences were present, pointing towards a high impact that regions undergoing maturation might have on AN

  6. Neural processing of food and emotional stimuli in adolescent and adult anorexia nervosa patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horndasch, Stefanie; Roesch, Julie; Forster, Clemens; Dörfler, Arnd; Lindsiepe, Silja; Heinrich, Hartmut; Graap, Holmer; Moll, Gunther H; Kratz, Oliver

    2018-01-01

    A constant preoccupation with food and restrictive eating are main symptoms of anorexia nervosa (AN). Imaging studies revealed aberrant neural activation patterns in brain regions processing hedonic and reward reactions as well as-potentially aversive-emotions. An imbalance between so called "bottom-up" and "top-down" control areas is discussed. The present study is focusing on neural processing of disease-specific food stimuli and emotional stimuli and its developmental course in adolescent and adult AN patients and could offer new insight into differential mechanisms underlying shorter or more chronic disease. 33 adolescents aged 12-18 years (15 AN patients, 18 control participants) and 32 adult women (16 AN patients, 16 control participants) underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI, 3T high-field scanner) while watching pictures of high and low-calorie food and affective stimuli. Afterwards, they rated subjective valence of each picture. FMRI data analysis was performed using a region of interest based approach. Pictures of high-calorie food items were rated more negatively by AN patients. Differences in activation between patients and controls were found in "bottom up" and "top down" control areas for food stimuli and in several emotion processing regions for affective stimuli which were more pronounced in adolescents than in adults. A differential pattern was seen for food stimuli compared to generally emotion eliciting stimuli. Adolescents with AN show reduced processing of affective stimuli and enhanced activation of regions involved in "bottom up" reward processing and "top down" control as well as the insula with regard to food stimuli with a focus on brain regions which underlie changes during adolescent development. In adults less clear and less specific activation differences were present, pointing towards a high impact that regions undergoing maturation might have on AN symptoms.

  7. Dimorphous expressions of positive emotion: displays of both care and aggression in response to cute stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aragón, Oriana R; Clark, Margaret S; Dyer, Rebecca L; Bargh, John A

    2015-03-01

    Extremely positive experiences, and positive appraisals thereof, produce intense positive emotions that often generate both positive expressions (e.g., smiles) and expressions normatively reserved for negative emotions (e.g., tears). We developed a definition of these dimorphous expressions and tested the proposal that their function is to regulate emotions. We showed that individuals who express emotions in this dimorphous manner do so as a general response across a variety of emotionally provoking situations, which suggests that these expressions are responses to intense positive emotion rather than unique to one particular situation. We used cute stimuli (an elicitor of positive emotion) to demonstrate both the existence of these dimorphous expressions and to provide preliminary evidence of their function as regulators of emotion. © The Author(s) 2015.

  8. Perception of emotion in facial stimuli: The interaction of ADRA2A and COMT genotypes, and sex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamm, Gerly; Kreegipuu, Kairi; Harro, Jaanus

    2016-01-04

    Emotional facial stimuli are important social signals that are essential to be perceived and recognized in order to make appropriate decisions and responses in everyday communication. The ability to voluntarily guide attention to perceive and recognize emotions, and react to them varies largely across individuals, and has a strong genetic component (Friedman et al., 2008). Two key genetic variants of the catecholamine system that have been related to emotion perception and attention are the catechol-O-methyl transferase genetic variant (COMT Val158Met) and the α2A-receptor gene promoter polymorphism (ADRA2A C-1291G) accordingly. So far, the interaction of the two with sex in emotion perception has not been studied. Multilevel modeling method was applied to study how COMT Val158Met, ADRA2A C-1291G and sex are associated with measures of emotion perception in a large sample of young adults. Participants (n=506) completed emotion recognition and behavioral emotion detection tasks. It was found that COMT Val158Met genotype in combination with the ADRA2A C-1291G and sex predicts emotion detection, and perception of valence and arousal. In simple visual detection, the ADRA2A C-1291G G-allele leads to slower detection of a highly arousing face (scheming), which is modulated by each additional COMT Val158Met Met-allele and male sex predicting faster responses. The combination of G-allele, Met-allele and male sex also predicts higher perceived negativity in sad faces. No effects of C-1291G, Val158Met, and sex were found on verbal emotion recognition. Applying the findings to study the interplay between catecholamine-O-methyl transferase activity and α2A-receptors in emotion perception disorders (such as ADHD, autism and schizophrenia) in men and women would be the next step towards understanding individual differences in emotion perception. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Visual and cross-modal cues increase the identification of overlapping visual stimuli in Balint's syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Imperio, Daniela; Scandola, Michele; Gobbetto, Valeria; Bulgarelli, Cristina; Salgarello, Matteo; Avesani, Renato; Moro, Valentina

    2017-10-01

    Cross-modal interactions improve the processing of external stimuli, particularly when an isolated sensory modality is impaired. When information from different modalities is integrated, object recognition is facilitated probably as a result of bottom-up and top-down processes. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential effects of cross-modal stimulation in a case of simultanagnosia. We report a detailed analysis of clinical symptoms and an 18 F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) brain positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) study of a patient affected by Balint's syndrome, a rare and invasive visual-spatial disorder following bilateral parieto-occipital lesions. An experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of visual and nonvisual cues on performance in tasks involving the recognition of overlapping pictures. Four modalities of sensory cues were used: visual, tactile, olfactory, and auditory. Data from neuropsychological tests showed the presence of ocular apraxia, optic ataxia, and simultanagnosia. The results of the experiment indicate a positive effect of the cues on the recognition of overlapping pictures, not only in the identification of the congruent valid-cued stimulus (target) but also in the identification of the other, noncued stimuli. All the sensory modalities analyzed (except the auditory stimulus) were efficacious in terms of increasing visual recognition. Cross-modal integration improved the patient's ability to recognize overlapping figures. However, while in the visual unimodal modality both bottom-up (priming, familiarity effect, disengagement of attention) and top-down processes (mental representation and short-term memory, the endogenous orientation of attention) are involved, in the cross-modal integration it is semantic representations that mainly activate visual recognition processes. These results are potentially useful for the design of rehabilitation training for attentional and visual-perceptual deficits.

  10. Attentional bias to emotional stimuli is altered during moderate- but not high-intensity exercise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Qu; Smith, J Carson

    2011-12-01

    Little is known regarding how attention to emotional stimuli is affected during simultaneously performed exercise. Attentional biases to emotional face stimuli were assessed in 34 college students (17 women) using the dot-probe task during counterbalanced conditions of moderate- (heart rate at 45% peak oxygen consumption) and high-intensity exercise (heart rate at 80% peak oxygen consumption) compared with seated rest. The dot-probe task consisted of 1 emotional face (pleasant or unpleasant) paired with a neutral face for 1,000 ms; 256 trials (128 trials for each valence) were presented during each condition. Each condition lasted approximately 10 min. Participants were instructed to perform each trial of the dot-probe task as quickly and accurately as possible during the exercise and rest conditions. During moderate-intensity exercise, participants exhibited significantly greater attentional bias scores to pleasant compared with unpleasant faces (p bias scores to emotional faces did not differ at rest or during high-intensity exercise (p > .05). In addition, the attentional bias to unpleasant faces was significantly reduced during moderate-intensity exercise compared with that during rest (p emotional stimuli and away from unpleasant emotional stimuli. Future work is needed to determine whether acute exercise may be an effective treatment approach to reduce negative bias or enhance positive bias in individuals diagnosed with mood or anxiety disorders, or whether attentional bias during exercise predicts adherence to exercise. (c) 2011 APA, all rights reserved.

  11. Do emotional stimuli enhance or impede recall relative to neutral stimuli? An investigation of two "false memory" tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monds, Lauren A; Paterson, Helen M; Kemp, Richard I

    2017-09-01

    Many eyewitness memory situations involve negative and distressing events; however, many studies investigating "false memory" phenomena use neutral stimuli only. The aim of the present study was to determine how both the Deese-Roediger-McDermott (DRM) procedure and the Misinformation Effect Paradigm tasks were related to each other using distressing and neutral stimuli. Participants completed the DRM (with negative and neutral word lists) and viewed a distressing or neutral film. Misinformation for the film was introduced and memory was assessed. Film accuracy and misinformation susceptibility were found to be greater for those who viewed the distressing film relative to the neutral film. Accuracy responses on both tasks were related, however, susceptibility to the DRM illusion and Misinformation Effect were not. The misinformation findings support the Paradoxical Negative Emotion (PNE) hypothesis that negative stimuli will lead to remembering more accurate details but also greater likelihood of memory distortion. However, the PNE hypothesis was not supported for the DRM results. The findings also suggest that the DRM and Misinformation tasks are not equivalent and may have differences in underlying mechanisms. Future research should focus on more ecologically valid methods of assessing false memory.

  12. Visual and auditory stimuli associated with swallowing. An fMRI study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kawai, Takeshi; Watanabe, Yutaka; Tonogi, Morio; Yamane, Gen-yuki; Abe, Shinichi; Yamada, Yoshiaki; Callan, Akiko

    2009-01-01

    We focused on brain areas activated by audiovisual stimuli related to swallowing motions. In this study, three kinds of stimuli related to human swallowing movement (auditory stimuli alone, visual stimuli alone, or audiovisual stimuli) were presented to the subjects, and activated brain areas were measured using functional MRI (fMRI) and analyzed. When auditory stimuli alone were presented, the supplementary motor area was activated. When visual stimuli alone were presented, the premotor and primary motor areas of the left and right hemispheres and prefrontal area of the left hemisphere were activated. When audiovisual stimuli were presented, the prefrontal and premotor areas of the left and right hemispheres were activated. Activation of Broca's area, which would have been characteristic of mirror neuron system activation on presentation of motion images, was not observed; however, activation of brain areas related to swallowing motion programming and performance was verified for auditory, visual and audiovisual stimuli related to swallowing motion. These results suggest that audiovisual stimuli related to swallowing motion could be applied to the treatment of patients with dysphagia. (author)

  13. Effects of inter- and intramodal selective attention to non-spatial visual stimuli: An event-related potential analysis.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Ruiter, M.B.; Kok, A.; van der Schoot, M.

    1998-01-01

    Event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded to trains of rapidly presented auditory and visual stimuli. ERPs in conditions in which Ss attended to different features of visual stimuli were compared with ERPs to the same type of stimuli when Ss attended to different features of auditory stimuli,

  14. Suppressed visual looming stimuli are not integrated with auditory looming signals: Evidence from continuous flash suppression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moors, Pieter; Huygelier, Hanne; Wagemans, Johan; de-Wit, Lee; van Ee, Raymond

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies using binocular rivalry have shown that signals in a modality other than the visual can bias dominance durations depending on their congruency with the rivaling stimuli. More recently, studies using continuous flash suppression (CFS) have reported that multisensory integration influences how long visual stimuli remain suppressed. In this study, using CFS, we examined whether the contrast thresholds for detecting visual looming stimuli are influenced by a congruent auditory stimulus. In Experiment 1, we show that a looming visual stimulus can result in lower detection thresholds compared to a static concentric grating, but that auditory tone pips congruent with the looming stimulus did not lower suppression thresholds any further. In Experiments 2, 3, and 4, we again observed no advantage for congruent multisensory stimuli. These results add to our understanding of the conditions under which multisensory integration is possible, and suggest that certain forms of multisensory integration are not evident when the visual stimulus is suppressed from awareness using CFS.

  15. Gender-specific effects of emotional modulation on visual temporal order thresholds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Wei; Zhang, Jiyuan; Bao, Yan

    2015-09-01

    Emotions affect temporal information processing in the low-frequency time window of a few seconds, but little is known about their effect in the high-frequency domain of some tens of milliseconds. The present study aims to investigate whether negative and positive emotional states influence the ability to discriminate the temporal order of visual stimuli, and whether gender plays a role in temporal processing. Due to the hemispheric lateralization of emotion, a hemispheric asymmetry between the left and the right visual field might be expected. Using a block design, subjects were primed with neutral, negative and positive emotional pictures before performing temporal order judgment tasks. Results showed that male subjects exhibited similarly reduced order thresholds under negative and positive emotional states, while female subjects demonstrated increased threshold under positive emotional state and reduced threshold under negative emotional state. Besides, emotions influenced female subjects more intensely than male subjects, and no hemispheric lateralization was observed. These observations indicate an influence of emotional states on temporal order processing of visual stimuli, and they suggest a gender difference, which is possibly associated with a different emotional stability.

  16. Distraction by deviance: comparing the effects of auditory and visual deviant stimuli on auditory and visual target processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leiva, Alicia; Parmentier, Fabrice B R; Andrés, Pilar

    2015-01-01

    We report the results of oddball experiments in which an irrelevant stimulus (standard, deviant) was presented before a target stimulus and the modality of these stimuli was manipulated orthogonally (visual/auditory). Experiment 1 showed that auditory deviants yielded distraction irrespective of the target's modality while visual deviants did not impact on performance. When participants were forced to attend the distractors in order to detect a rare target ("target-distractor"), auditory deviants yielded distraction irrespective of the target's modality and visual deviants yielded a small distraction effect when targets were auditory (Experiments 2 & 3). Visual deviants only produced distraction for visual targets when deviant stimuli were not visually distinct from the other distractors (Experiment 4). Our results indicate that while auditory deviants yield distraction irrespective of the targets' modality, visual deviants only do so when attended and under selective conditions, at least when irrelevant and target stimuli are temporally and perceptually decoupled.

  17. Impaired Working Memory Updating for Emotional Stimuli in Depressed Patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Dandan; Xie, Hui; He, Zhenhong; Wei, Zhaoguo; Gu, Ruolei

    2018-01-01

    Although two previous studies have demonstrated that depressed individuals showed deficits in working memory (WM) updating of both negative and positive contents, the effects were confounded by shifting dysfunctions and the detailed neural mechanism associated with the failure in N-back task is not clear. Using a 2-back task, the current study examined the WM updating of positive, negative and neutral contents in depressed patients. It is found that depressed patients performed poorer than healthy controls only when updating positive material. Using event-related potential (ERP) technique, the current study also investigated the neural correlates of updating deficits in depression. According to previous studies, the n-back task was divided into three sub-processes, i.e., encoding, matching and maintaining. Our ERP results showed that depressed patients had smaller occipital P1 for positive material compared to healthy controls, indicating their insensitivity to positive items on early encoding stage. Besides, depressed patients had larger frontal P2 and parietal late positive potential (LPP) than healthy controls irrespective of the valence of the words, reflecting that patients are inefficient during matching (P2) and maintaining (LPP) processes. These two mechanisms (insufficient attention to positive stimuli and low efficiency in matching and maintaining) together lead to the deficits of WM updating in depression.

  18. How Major Depressive Disorder affects the ability to decode multimodal dynamic emotional stimuli

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    FILOMENA SCIBELLI

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Most studies investigating the processing of emotions in depressed patients reported impairments in the decoding of negative emotions. However, these studies adopted static stimuli (mostly stereotypical facial expressions corresponding to basic emotions which do not reflect the way people experience emotions in everyday life. For this reason, this work proposes to investigate the decoding of emotional expressions in patients affected by Recurrent Major Depressive Disorder (RMDDs using dynamic audio/video stimuli. RMDDs’ performance is compared with the performance of patients with Adjustment Disorder with Depressed Mood (ADs and healthy (HCs subjects. The experiments involve 27 RMDDs (16 with acute depression - RMDD-A, and 11 in a compensation phase - RMDD-C, 16 ADs and 16 HCs. The ability to decode emotional expressions is assessed through an emotion recognition task based on short audio (without video, video (without audio and audio/video clips. The results show that AD patients are significantly less accurate than HCs in decoding fear, anger, happiness, surprise and sadness. RMDD-As with acute depression are significantly less accurate than HCs in decoding happiness, sadness and surprise. Finally, no significant differences were found between HCs and RMDD-Cs in a compensation phase. The different communication channels and the types of emotion play a significant role in limiting the decoding accuracy.

  19. Visual fatigue while watching 3D stimuli from different positions

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    J. Antonio Aznar-Casanova

    2017-07-01

    Conclusion: This results support a mixed model, combining a model based on the visual angle (related to viewing distance and another based on the oculomotor imbalance (related to visual direction. This mixed model could help to predict the distribution of seats in the cinema room ranging from those that produce greater visual comfort to those that produce more visual discomfort. Also could be a first step to pre-diagnosis of binocular vision disorders.

  20. Observer's Mood Manipulates Level of Visual Processing: Evidence from Face and Nonface Stimuli

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    Setareh Mokhtari

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available For investigating the effect of observer's mood on level of processing of visual stimuli, happy or sad mood was induced in two groups of participants through asking them to deliberate one of their sad or happy memories while listening to a congruent piece of music. This was followed by a computer-based task that required counting some features (arcs or lines of emotional schematic faces (with either sad or happy expressions for group 1, and counting same features of meaningless combined shapes for group 2. Reaction time analysis indicated there is a significant difference in RTs after listening to the sad music compared with happy music for group 1; participants with sad moods were significantly slower when they worked on local levels of schematic faces with sad expressions. Happy moods did not show any specific effect on reaction time of participants who were working on local details of emotionally expressive faces. Sad moods or happy moods had no significant effect on reaction time of working on parts of meaningless shapes. It seems that sad moods as a contextual factor elevate the ability of sad expression to grab the attention and block fast access to the local parts of the holistic meaningful shapes.

  1. Klinefelter syndrome has increased brain responses to auditory stimuli and motor output, but not to visual stimuli or Stroop adaptation.

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    Wallentin, Mikkel; Skakkebæk, Anne; Bojesen, Anders; Fedder, Jens; Laurberg, Peter; Østergaard, John R; Hertz, Jens Michael; Pedersen, Anders Degn; Gravholt, Claus Højbjerg

    2016-01-01

    Klinefelter syndrome (47, XXY) (KS) is a genetic syndrome characterized by the presence of an extra X chromosome and low level of testosterone, resulting in a number of neurocognitive abnormalities, yet little is known about brain function. This study investigated the fMRI-BOLD response from KS relative to a group of Controls to basic motor, perceptual, executive and adaptation tasks. Participants (N: KS = 49; Controls = 49) responded to whether the words "GREEN" or "RED" were displayed in green or red (incongruent versus congruent colors). One of the colors was presented three times as often as the other, making it possible to study both congruency and adaptation effects independently. Auditory stimuli saying "GREEN" or "RED" had the same distribution, making it possible to study effects of perceptual modality as well as Frequency effects across modalities. We found that KS had an increased response to motor output in primary motor cortex and an increased response to auditory stimuli in auditory cortices, but no difference in primary visual cortices. KS displayed a diminished response to written visual stimuli in secondary visual regions near the Visual Word Form Area, consistent with the widespread dyslexia in the group. No neural differences were found in inhibitory control (Stroop) or in adaptation to differences in stimulus frequencies. Across groups we found a strong positive correlation between age and BOLD response in the brain's motor network with no difference between groups. No effects of testosterone level or brain volume were found. In sum, the present findings suggest that auditory and motor systems in KS are selectively affected, perhaps as a compensatory strategy, and that this is not a systemic effect as it is not seen in the visual system.

  2. Klinefelter syndrome has increased brain responses to auditory stimuli and motor output, but not to visual stimuli or Stroop adaptation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mikkel Wallentin

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Klinefelter syndrome (47, XXY (KS is a genetic syndrome characterized by the presence of an extra X chromosome and low level of testosterone, resulting in a number of neurocognitive abnormalities, yet little is known about brain function. This study investigated the fMRI-BOLD response from KS relative to a group of Controls to basic motor, perceptual, executive and adaptation tasks. Participants (N: KS = 49; Controls = 49 responded to whether the words “GREEN” or “RED” were displayed in green or red (incongruent versus congruent colors. One of the colors was presented three times as often as the other, making it possible to study both congruency and adaptation effects independently. Auditory stimuli saying “GREEN” or “RED” had the same distribution, making it possible to study effects of perceptual modality as well as Frequency effects across modalities. We found that KS had an increased response to motor output in primary motor cortex and an increased response to auditory stimuli in auditory cortices, but no difference in primary visual cortices. KS displayed a diminished response to written visual stimuli in secondary visual regions near the Visual Word Form Area, consistent with the widespread dyslexia in the group. No neural differences were found in inhibitory control (Stroop or in adaptation to differences in stimulus frequencies. Across groups we found a strong positive correlation between age and BOLD response in the brain's motor network with no difference between groups. No effects of testosterone level or brain volume were found. In sum, the present findings suggest that auditory and motor systems in KS are selectively affected, perhaps as a compensatory strategy, and that this is not a systemic effect as it is not seen in the visual system.

  3. A Role for the Autonomic Nervous System in Modulating the Immune Response during Mild Emotional Stimuli

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Croiset, Gerda; Heijnen, Cobi J.; Wal, Wim E. van der; Boer, Sietse F. de; Wied, David de

    1990-01-01

    The role of the autonomic nervous system in the modulation of the immune response to emotional stimuli, was established in rats subjected to the passive avoidance test. An increase in splenic primary antibody response directed against SRBC was found after exposure of rats to the passive avoidance

  4. Naltrexone alters the processing of social and emotional stimuli in healthy adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wardle, Margaret C; Bershad, Anya K; de Wit, Harriet

    2016-12-01

    Endogenous opioids have complex social effects that may depend on specific receptor actions and vary depending on the "stage" of social behavior (e.g., seeking vs. responding to social stimuli). We tested the effects of a nonspecific opioid antagonist, naltrexone (NTX), on social processing in humans. NTX is used to treat alcohol and opiate dependence, and may affect both mu and kappa-opioid systems. We assessed attention ("seeking"), and subjective and psychophysiological responses ("responding") to positive and negative social stimuli. Based on literature suggesting mu-opioid blockade impairs positive social responses, we hypothesized that NTX would decrease responses to positive social stimuli. We also tested responses to negative stimuli, which might be either increased by NTX's mu-opioid effects or decreased by its kappa-opioid effects. Thirty-four healthy volunteers received placebo, 25 mg, or 50 mg NTX across three sessions under double-blind conditions. At each session, participants completed measures of attention, identification, and emotional responses for emotional faces and scenes. NTX increased attention to emotional expressions, slowed identification of sadness and fear, and decreased ratings of arousal for social and nonsocial emotional scenes. These findings are more consistent with anxiolytic kappa-antagonist than mu-blocking effects, suggesting effects on kappa receptors may contribute to the clinical effects of NTX.

  5. Interpretation of time dependent facial expressions in terms of emotional stimuli

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gorbunov, R.; Barakova, E.I.; Rauterberg, G.W.M.

    2012-01-01

    In this paper we demonstrate how genetic programming can be used to interpret time dependent facial expressions in terms of emotional stimuli of different types and intensities. In our analysis we have used video records of facial expressions made during the Mars-500 experiment in which six

  6. Temporal attention for visual food stimuli in restrained eaters

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Neimeijer, Renate A. M.; de Jong, Peter J.; Roefs, Anne

    2013-01-01

    Although restrained eaters try to limit their food intake, they often fail and indulge in exactly those foods that they want to avoid. A possible explanation is a temporal attentional bias for food cues. It could be that for these people food stimuli are processed relatively efficiently and require

  7. Cognitive appraisal of environmental stimuli induces emotion-like states in fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cerqueira, M; Millot, S; Castanheira, M F; Félix, A S; Silva, T; Oliveira, G A; Oliveira, C C; Martins, C I M; Oliveira, R F

    2017-10-13

    The occurrence of emotions in non-human animals has been the focus of debate over the years. Recently, an interest in expanding this debate to non-tetrapod vertebrates and to invertebrates has emerged. Within vertebrates, the study of emotion in teleosts is particularly interesting since they represent a divergent evolutionary radiation from that of tetrapods, and thus they provide an insight into the evolution of the biological mechanisms of emotion. We report that Sea Bream exposed to stimuli that vary according to valence (positive, negative) and salience (predictable, unpredictable) exhibit different behavioural, physiological and neuromolecular states. Since according to the dimensional theory of emotion valence and salience define a two-dimensional affective space, our data can be interpreted as evidence for the occurrence of distinctive affective states in fish corresponding to each the four quadrants of the core affective space. Moreover, the fact that the same stimuli presented in a predictable vs. unpredictable way elicited different behavioural, physiological and neuromolecular states, suggests that stimulus appraisal by the individual, rather than an intrinsic characteristic of the stimulus, has triggered the observed responses. Therefore, our data supports the occurrence of emotion-like states in fish that are regulated by the individual's perception of environmental stimuli.

  8. Complexities of Emotional Responses to Social and Nonsocial Affective Stimuli in Schizophrenia

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    Joel S. Peterman

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Adaptive emotional responses are important in interpersonal relationships. We investigated self-reported emotional experience, physiological reactivity, and micro-facial expressivity in relation to the social nature of stimuli in individuals with schizophrenia.METHOD: Galvanic skin response (GSR and facial electromyography (fEMG were recorded in medicated outpatients with schizophrenia (SZ and demograph-ically-matched healthy controls (CO while they viewed social and non-social im-ages from the International Affective Pictures System (IAPS. Participants rated the valence and arousal, and selected a label for experienced emotions. Symp-tom severity in the SZ, and schizotypy in CO were assessed.RESULTS: The two groups did not differ in their labeling of the emotions evoked by the stimuli, but individuals with schizophrenia were more positive in their va-lence ratings. Although self-reported arousal was similar in both groups, GSR was greater in schizophrenia, suggesting differential awareness or calibration of internal states. Both groups reported social images to be more arousing than non-social images but their physiological responses to nonsocial vs. social imag-es were different. Self-reported arousal to neutral social images was correlated with positive symptoms in schizophrenia. Negative symptoms in SZ and disor-ganized schizotypy in CO were associated with reduced fEMG. Greater corruga-tor fEMG activity for positive images in SZ indicates valence-incongruent facial expressions.CONCLUSIONS: The patterns of emotional responses differed between the two groups. While both groups were in broad agreement in self-reported arousal and emotion labels, their GSR and fEMG correlates of emotion diverged in relation to the social nature of the stimuli and clinical measures. Importantly, these results suggest disrupted self awareness of internal states in schizophrenia and under-score the complexities of emotion processing in health and

  9. The effect of Ramadan fasting on spatial attention through emotional stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molavi, Maziyar; Yunus, Jasmy; Utama, Nugraha P

    2016-01-01

    Fasting can influence psychological and mental states. In the current study, the effect of periodical fasting on the process of emotion through gazed facial expression as a realistic multisource of social information was investigated for the first time. The dynamic cue-target task was applied via behavior and event-related potential measurements for 40 participants to reveal the temporal and spatial brain activities – before, during, and after fasting periods. The significance of fasting included several effects. The amplitude of the N1 component decreased over the centroparietal scalp during fasting. Furthermore, the reaction time during the fasting period decreased. The self-measurement of deficit arousal as well as the mood increased during the fasting period. There was a significant contralateral alteration of P1 over occipital area for the happy facial expression stimuli. The significant effect of gazed expression and its interaction with the emotional stimuli was indicated by the amplitude of N1. Furthermore, the findings of the study approved the validity effect as a congruency between gaze and target position, as indicated by the increment of P3 amplitude over centroparietal area as well as slower reaction time from behavioral response data during incongruency or invalid condition between gaze and target position compared with those during valid condition. Results of this study proved that attention to facial expression stimuli as a kind of communicative social signal was affected by fasting. Also, fasting improved the mood of practitioners. Moreover, findings from the behavioral and event-related potential data analyses indicated that the neural dynamics of facial emotion are processed faster than that of gazing, as the participants tended to react faster and prefer to relay on the type of facial emotions than to gaze direction while doing the task. Because of happy facial expression stimuli, right hemisphere activation was more than that of the left

  10. Attentional load modulates responses of human primary visual cortex to invisible stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bahrami, Bahador; Lavie, Nilli; Rees, Geraint

    2007-03-20

    Visual neuroscience has long sought to determine the extent to which stimulus-evoked activity in visual cortex depends on attention and awareness. Some influential theories of consciousness maintain that the allocation of attention is restricted to conscious representations [1, 2]. However, in the load theory of attention [3], competition between task-relevant and task-irrelevant stimuli for limited-capacity attention does not depend on conscious perception of the irrelevant stimuli. The critical test is whether the level of attentional load in a relevant task would determine unconscious neural processing of invisible stimuli. Human participants were scanned with high-field fMRI while they performed a foveal task of low or high attentional load. Irrelevant, invisible monocular stimuli were simultaneously presented peripherally and were continuously suppressed by a flashing mask in the other eye [4]. Attentional load in the foveal task strongly modulated retinotopic activity evoked in primary visual cortex (V1) by the invisible stimuli. Contrary to traditional views [1, 2, 5, 6], we found that availability of attentional capacity determines neural representations related to unconscious processing of continuously suppressed stimuli in human primary visual cortex. Spillover of attention to cortical representations of invisible stimuli (under low load) cannot be a sufficient condition for their awareness.

  11. Repetition Enhancement of Amygdala and Visual Cortex Functional Connectivity Reflects Nonconscious Memory for Negative Visual Stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kark, Sarah M; Slotnick, Scott D; Kensinger, Elizabeth A

    2016-12-01

    Most studies using a recognition memory paradigm examine the neural processes that support the ability to consciously recognize past events. However, there can also be nonconscious influences from the prior study episode that reflect repetition suppression effects-a reduction in the magnitude of activity for repeated presentations of stimuli-that are revealed by comparing neural activity associated with forgotten items to correctly rejected novel items. The present fMRI study examined the effect of emotional valence (positive vs. negative) on repetition suppression effects. Using a standard recognition memory task, 24 participants viewed line drawings of previously studied negative, positive, and neutral photos intermixed with novel line drawings. For each item, participants made an old-new recognition judgment and a sure-unsure confidence rating. Collapsed across valence, repetition suppression effects were found in ventral occipital-temporal cortex and frontal regions. Activity levels in the majority of these regions were not modulated by valence. However, repetition enhancement of the amygdala and ventral occipital-temporal cortex functional connectivity reflected nonconscious memory for negative items. In this study, valence had little effect on activation patterns but had a larger effect on functional connectivity patterns that were markers of nonconscious memory. Beyond memory and emotion, these findings are relevant to other cognitive and social neuroscientists that utilize fMRI repetition effects to investigate perception, attention, social cognition, and other forms of learning and memory.

  12. Auditory stimulus timing influences perceived duration of co-occurring visual stimuli

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    Vincenzo eRomei

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available There is increasing interest in multisensory influences upon sensory-specific judgements, such as when auditory stimuli affect visual perception. Here we studied whether the duration of an auditory event can objectively affect the perceived duration of a co-occurring visual event. On each trial, participants were presented with a pair of successive flashes and had to judge whether the first or second was longer. Two beeps were presented with the flashes. The order of short and long stimuli could be the same across audition and vision (audiovisual congruent or reversed, so that the longer flash was accompanied by the shorter beep and vice versa (audiovisual incongruent; or the two beeps could have the same duration as each other. Beeps and flashes could onset synchronously or asynchronously. In a further control experiment, the beep durations were much longer (tripled than the flashes. Results showed that visual duration-discrimination sensitivity (d' was significantly higher for congruent (and significantly lower for incongruent audiovisual synchronous combinations, relative to the visual only presentation. This effect was abolished when auditory and visual stimuli were presented asynchronously, or when sound durations tripled those of flashes. We conclude that the temporal properties of co-occurring auditory stimuli influence the perceived duration of visual stimuli and that this can reflect genuine changes in visual sensitivity rather than mere response bias.

  13. Spatiotemporal Relationships among Audiovisual Stimuli Modulate Auditory Facilitation of Visual Target Discrimination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Qi; Yang, Huamin; Sun, Fang; Wu, Jinglong

    2015-03-01

    Sensory information is multimodal; through audiovisual interaction, task-irrelevant auditory stimuli tend to speed response times and increase visual perception accuracy. However, mechanisms underlying these performance enhancements have remained unclear. We hypothesize that task-irrelevant auditory stimuli might provide reliable temporal and spatial cues for visual target discrimination and behavioral response enhancement. Using signal detection theory, the present study investigated the effects of spatiotemporal relationships on auditory facilitation of visual target discrimination. Three experiments were conducted where an auditory stimulus maintained reliable temporal and/or spatial relationships with visual target stimuli. Results showed that perception sensitivity (d') to visual target stimuli was enhanced only when a task-irrelevant auditory stimulus maintained reliable spatiotemporal relationships with a visual target stimulus. When only reliable spatial or temporal information was contained, perception sensitivity was not enhanced. These results suggest that reliable spatiotemporal relationships between visual and auditory signals are required for audiovisual integration during a visual discrimination task, most likely due to a spread of attention. These results also indicate that auditory facilitation of visual target discrimination follows from late-stage cognitive processes rather than early stage sensory processes. © 2015 SAGE Publications.

  14. Improved discrimination of visual stimuli following repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation.

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    Michael L Waterston

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS at certain frequencies increases thresholds for motor-evoked potentials and phosphenes following stimulation of cortex. Consequently rTMS is often assumed to introduce a "virtual lesion" in stimulated brain regions, with correspondingly diminished behavioral performance. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we investigated the effects of rTMS to visual cortex on subjects' ability to perform visual psychophysical tasks. Contrary to expectations of a visual deficit, we find that rTMS often improves the discrimination of visual features. For coarse orientation tasks, discrimination of a static stimulus improved consistently following theta-burst stimulation of the occipital lobe. Using a reaction-time task, we found that these improvements occurred throughout the visual field and lasted beyond one hour post-rTMS. Low-frequency (1 Hz stimulation yielded similar improvements. In contrast, we did not find consistent effects of rTMS on performance in a fine orientation discrimination task. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Overall our results suggest that rTMS generally improves or has no effect on visual acuity, with the nature of the effect depending on the type of stimulation and the task. We interpret our results in the context of an ideal-observer model of visual perception.

  15. Age-related differences in attention and memory toward emotional stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bi, Dandan; Han, Buxin

    2015-09-01

    From the perspectives of time perception and motivation, socioemotional selectivity theory (SST) postulates that in comparison with younger adults, older adults tend to prefer positive stimuli and avoid negative stimuli. Currently the cross-cultural consistency of this positivity effect (PE) is still not clear. While empirical evidence for Western populations is accumulating, the validation of the PE in Asians is still rare. The current study compared 28 younger and 24 older Chinese adults in the processing of emotional information. Eye-tracking and recognition data of participants in processing pictures with positive, negative, or neutral emotional information sampled from the International Affection Picture System were collected. The results showed less negative bias for emotional attention in older adults than in younger adults, whereas for emotional recognition, only younger adults showed a negative bias while older adults showed no bias between negative and positive emotional information. Overall, compared with younger adults, emotional processing was more positive in older adults. It was concluded that Chinese older adults show a PE. © 2015 The Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

  16. Ventromedial prefrontal cortex mediates visual attention during facial emotion recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolf, Richard C; Philippi, Carissa L; Motzkin, Julian C; Baskaya, Mustafa K; Koenigs, Michael

    2014-06-01

    The ventromedial prefrontal cortex is known to play a crucial role in regulating human social and emotional behaviour, yet the precise mechanisms by which it subserves this broad function remain unclear. Whereas previous neuropsychological studies have largely focused on the role of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex in higher-order deliberative processes related to valuation and decision-making, here we test whether ventromedial prefrontal cortex may also be critical for more basic aspects of orienting attention to socially and emotionally meaningful stimuli. Using eye tracking during a test of facial emotion recognition in a sample of lesion patients, we show that bilateral ventromedial prefrontal cortex damage impairs visual attention to the eye regions of faces, particularly for fearful faces. This finding demonstrates a heretofore unrecognized function of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex-the basic attentional process of controlling eye movements to faces expressing emotion. © The Author (2014). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  17. Emotion and attention interaction: a trade-off between stimuli relevance, motivation and individual differences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliveira, Leticia; Mocaiber, Izabela; David, Isabel A.; Erthal, Fátima; Volchan, Eliane; Pereira, Mirtes G.

    2013-01-01

    Mounting evidence suggests that the neural processing of emotional stimuli is prioritized. However, whether the processing of emotional stimuli is dependent on attention remains debatable. Several studies have investigated this issue by testing the capacity of emotional distracters to divert processing resources from an attentional main task. The attentional load theory postulates that the perceptual load of the main task determines the selective processing of the distracter. Although we agree with this theory, we also suggest that other factors could be important in determining the association between the load of the main task and distracter processing, namely, (1) the relevance of the to-be ignored stimuli and (2) the engagement in the main task due to motivation. We postulate that these factors function as opposite forces to influence distracter processing. In addition, we propose that this trade-off is modulated by individual differences. In summary, we suggest that the relationship between emotion and attention is flexible rather than rigid and depends on several factors. Considering this perspective may help us to understand the divergence in the results described by several studies in this field. PMID:23874284

  18. Emotion and Attention Interaction: a trade-off between stimuli relevance, motivation and individual differences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leticia eOliveira

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Mounting evidence suggests that the neural processing of emotional stimuli is prioritized. However, whether the processing of emotional stimuli is dependent on attention remains debatable. Several studies have investigated this issue by testing the capacity of emotional distracters to divert processing resources from an attentional main task. The attentional load theory postulates that the perceptual load of the main task determines the selective processing of the distracter. Although we agree with this theory, we also suggest that other factors could be important in determining the association between the load of the main task and distracter processing, namely, (1 the relevance of the to-be ignored stimuli and (2 the engagement in the main task resulting from motivation. We postulate that these factors function as opposite forces to influence distracter processing. In addition, we propose that this trade-off is modulated by individual differences. In summary, we suggest that the relationship between emotion and attention is flexible rather than rigid and depends on several factors. Considering this perspective may help us to understand the divergence in the results described by several studies in this field.

  19. Emotion and attention interaction: a trade-off between stimuli relevance, motivation and individual differences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliveira, Leticia; Mocaiber, Izabela; David, Isabel A; Erthal, Fátima; Volchan, Eliane; Pereira, Mirtes G

    2013-01-01

    Mounting evidence suggests that the neural processing of emotional stimuli is prioritized. However, whether the processing of emotional stimuli is dependent on attention remains debatable. Several studies have investigated this issue by testing the capacity of emotional distracters to divert processing resources from an attentional main task. The attentional load theory postulates that the perceptual load of the main task determines the selective processing of the distracter. Although we agree with this theory, we also suggest that other factors could be important in determining the association between the load of the main task and distracter processing, namely, (1) the relevance of the to-be ignored stimuli and (2) the engagement in the main task due to motivation. We postulate that these factors function as opposite forces to influence distracter processing. In addition, we propose that this trade-off is modulated by individual differences. In summary, we suggest that the relationship between emotion and attention is flexible rather than rigid and depends on several factors. Considering this perspective may help us to understand the divergence in the results described by several studies in this field.

  20. Auditory-visual integration of emotional signals in a virtual environment for cynophobia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taffou, Marine; Chapoulie, Emmanuelle; David, Adrien; Guerchouche, Rachid; Drettakis, George; Viaud-Delmon, Isabelle

    2012-01-01

    Cynophobia (dog phobia) has both visual and auditory relevant components. In order to investigate the efficacy of virtual reality (VR) exposure-based treatment for cynophobia, we studied the efficiency of auditory-visual environments in generating presence and emotion. We conducted an evaluation test with healthy participants sensitive to cynophobia in order to assess the capacity of auditory-visual virtual environments (VE) to generate fear reactions. Our application involves both high fidelity visual stimulation displayed in an immersive space and 3D sound. This specificity enables us to present and spatially manipulate fearful stimuli in the auditory modality, the visual modality and both. Our specific presentation of animated dog stimuli creates an environment that is highly arousing, suggesting that VR is a promising tool for cynophobia treatment and that manipulating auditory-visual integration might provide a way to modulate affect.

  1. Visual Stimuli Induce Waves of Electrical Activity in Turtle Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prechtl, J. C.; Cohen, L. B.; Pesaran, B.; Mitra, P. P.; Kleinfeld, D.

    1997-07-01

    The computations involved in the processing of a visual scene invariably involve the interactions among neurons throughout all of visual cortex. One hypothesis is that the timing of neuronal activity, as well as the amplitude of activity, provides a means to encode features of objects. The experimental data from studies on cat [Gray, C. M., Konig, P., Engel, A. K. & Singer, W. (1989) Nature (London) 338, 334-337] support a view in which only synchronous (no phase lags) activity carries information about the visual scene. In contrast, theoretical studies suggest, on the one hand, the utility of multiple phases within a population of neurons as a means to encode independent visual features and, on the other hand, the likely existence of timing differences solely on the basis of network dynamics. Here we use widefield imaging in conjunction with voltage-sensitive dyes to record electrical activity from the virtually intact, unanesthetized turtle brain. Our data consist of single-trial measurements. We analyze our data in the frequency domain to isolate coherent events that lie in different frequency bands. Low frequency oscillations (scale differences in neuronal timing are present and persistent during visual processing.

  2. Auditory-visual aversive stimuli modulate the conscious experience of fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taffou, Marine; Guerchouche, Rachid; Drettakis, George; Viaud-Delmon, Isabelle

    2013-01-01

    In a natural environment, affective information is perceived via multiple senses, mostly audition and vision. However, the impact of multisensory information on affect remains relatively undiscovered. In this study, we investigated whether the auditory-visual presentation of aversive stimuli influences the experience of fear. We used the advantages of virtual reality to manipulate multisensory presentation and to display potentially fearful dog stimuli embedded in a natural context. We manipulated the affective reactions evoked by the dog stimuli by recruiting two groups of participants: dog-fearful and non-fearful participants. The sensitivity to dog fear was assessed psychometrically by a questionnaire and also at behavioral and subjective levels using a Behavioral Avoidance Test (BAT). Participants navigated in virtual environments, in which they encountered virtual dog stimuli presented through the auditory channel, the visual channel or both. They were asked to report their fear using Subjective Units of Distress. We compared the fear for unimodal (visual or auditory) and bimodal (auditory-visual) dog stimuli. Dog-fearful participants as well as non-fearful participants reported more fear in response to bimodal audiovisual compared to unimodal presentation of dog stimuli. These results suggest that fear is more intense when the affective information is processed via multiple sensory pathways, which might be due to a cross-modal potentiation. Our findings have implications for the field of virtual reality-based therapy of phobias. Therapies could be refined and improved by implicating and manipulating the multisensory presentation of the feared situations.

  3. Visual search for emotional expressions: Effect of stimulus set on anger and happiness superiority.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savage, Ruth A; Becker, Stefanie I; Lipp, Ottmar V

    2016-01-01

    Prior reports of preferential detection of emotional expressions in visual search have yielded inconsistent results, even for face stimuli that avoid obvious expression-related perceptual confounds. The current study investigated inconsistent reports of anger and happiness superiority effects using face stimuli drawn from the same database. Experiment 1 excluded procedural differences as a potential factor, replicating a happiness superiority effect in a procedure that previously yielded an anger superiority effect. Experiments 2a and 2b confirmed that image colour or poser gender did not account for prior inconsistent findings. Experiments 3a and 3b identified stimulus set as the critical variable, revealing happiness or anger superiority effects for two partially overlapping sets of face stimuli. The current results highlight the critical role of stimulus selection for the observation of happiness or anger superiority effects in visual search even for face stimuli that avoid obvious expression related perceptual confounds and are drawn from a single database.

  4. Modification of sudden onset auditory ERP by involuntary attention to visual stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oray, Serkan; Lu, Zhong-Lin; Dawson, Michael E

    2002-03-01

    To investigate the cross-modal nature of the exogenous attention system, we studied how involuntary attention in the visual modality affects ERPs elicited by sudden onset of events in the auditory modality. Relatively loud auditory white noise bursts were presented to subjects with random and long inter-trial intervals. The noise bursts were either presented alone, or paired with a visual stimulus with a visual to auditory onset asynchrony of 120 ms. In a third condition, the visual stimuli were shown alone. All three conditions, auditory alone, visual alone, and paired visual/auditory, were randomly inter-mixed and presented with equal probabilities. Subjects were instructed to fixate on a point in front of them without task instructions concerning either the auditory or visual stimuli. ERPs were recorded from 28 scalp sites throughout every experimental session. Compared to ERPs in the auditory alone condition, pairing the auditory noise bursts with the visual stimulus reduced the amplitude of the auditory N100 component at Cz by 40% and the auditory P200/P300 component at Cz by 25%. No significant topographical change was observed in the scalp distributions of the N100 and P200/P300. Our results suggest that involuntary attention to visual stimuli suppresses early sensory (N100) as well as late cognitive (P200/P300) processing of sudden auditory events. The activation of the exogenous attention system by sudden auditory onset can be modified by involuntary visual attention in a cross-model, passive prepulse inhibition paradigm.

  5. Negativity is the main cause of reaction-time delay in an emotional Stroop study with picture/word stimuli.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sutmuller, A.D.; Brokken, D.

    2008-01-01

    The aim of this study was to find out if the emotion triggered by viewing a picture can be determined by measuring reaction times. We investigated this by using the emotional Stroop task. Emotional Stroop entails presenting two stimuli, in our case pictures and superimposed words, with different

  6. Opposite Distortions in Interval Timing Perception for Visual and Auditory Stimuli with Temporal Modulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuasa, Kenichi; Yotsumoto, Yuko

    2015-01-01

    When an object is presented visually and moves or flickers, the perception of its duration tends to be overestimated. Such an overestimation is called time dilation. Perceived time can also be distorted when a stimulus is presented aurally as an auditory flutter, but the mechanisms and their relationship to visual processing remains unclear. In the present study, we measured interval timing perception while modulating the temporal characteristics of visual and auditory stimuli, and investigated whether the interval times of visually and aurally presented objects shared a common mechanism. In these experiments, participants compared the durations of flickering or fluttering stimuli to standard stimuli, which were presented continuously. Perceived durations for auditory flutters were underestimated, while perceived durations of visual flickers were overestimated. When auditory flutters and visual flickers were presented simultaneously, these distortion effects were cancelled out. When auditory flutters were presented with a constantly presented visual stimulus, the interval timing perception of the visual stimulus was affected by the auditory flutters. These results indicate that interval timing perception is governed by independent mechanisms for visual and auditory processing, and that there are some interactions between the two processing systems.

  7. Relevance of the Irrelevant : Using Task-Irrelevant Emotional Stimuli to Test the Load-Hypothesis through ERP’s

    OpenAIRE

    Andersson, Per

    2010-01-01

    The role of attention and perceptual resources were studied in a one-back task and a letter-search task, both using the same stimuli. In the letter task, pictures were used as task-irrelevant and distracting emotional stimuli. The emotional processing of the pictures was measured through the Late Positive Potential (LPP), an event-related potential (ERP) recorded with EEG. LPP activity was significantly greater to emotional than neutral stimuli during the one-back task; this shows that emotio...

  8. The effect of Ramadan fasting on spatial attention through emotional stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Molavi M

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Maziyar Molavi, Jasmy Yunus, Nugraha P Utama Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Biosciences and Medical Engineering (FBME, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM, Johor Bahru, Johor, MalaysiaAbstract: Fasting can influence psychological and mental states. In the current study, the effect of periodical fasting on the process of emotion through gazed facial expression as a realistic multisource of social information was investigated for the first time. The dynamic cue-target task was applied via behavior and event-related potential measurements for 40 participants to reveal the temporal and spatial brain activities – before, during, and after fasting periods. The significance of fasting included several effects. The amplitude of the N1 component decreased over the centroparietal scalp during fasting. Furthermore, the reaction time during the fasting period decreased. The self-measurement of deficit arousal as well as the mood increased during the fasting period. There was a significant contralateral alteration of P1 over occipital area for the happy facial expression stimuli. The significant effect of gazed expression and its interaction with the emotional stimuli was indicated by the amplitude of N1. Furthermore, the findings of the study approved the validity effect as a congruency between gaze and target position, as indicated by the increment of P3 amplitude over centroparietal area as well as slower reaction time from behavioral response data during incongruency or invalid condition between gaze and target position compared with those during valid condition. Results of this study proved that attention to facial expression stimuli as a kind of communicative social signal was affected by fasting. Also, fasting improved the mood of practitioners. Moreover, findings from the behavioral and event-related potential data analyses indicated that the neural dynamics of facial emotion are processed faster than that of gazing, as the participants

  9. Attention bias towards personally relevant stimuli: the individual emotional Stroop task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wingenfeld, Katja; Bullig, Renate; Mensebach, Christoph; Hartje, Wolfgang; Driessen, Martin; Beblo, Thomas

    2006-12-01

    The emotional Stroop task is a widely used method for investigating attentional bias towards stimuli due to mood or affect. In general, standardized stimuli are used, which might not be appropriate when investigating individual contextual frameworks. It was investigated whether words chosen to be related to individuals' personal life events would produce more pronounced Stroop interference (as an indicator of attentional bias) than stimuli without any personal relevance. Twenty-six nonclinical subjects, 20 female and 6 male, participated in the study. Mean age was 36.1 yr. (SD = 18.1). All were recruited by means of local advertising. Stimulus material consisted of four word types: personal words related to negative life events with and without current personal relevance, and negative and neutral words without any personal relevance. Words were presented in three blocks. Analysis of variance showed main effects for word type and blocks, with slower reactions in the personally relevant conditions than in the negative, or neutral conditions, and in response to the first blocks as opposed to the last. These findings indicate that regardless of the word valence, personally relevant stimuli evoke more pronounced Stroop interference than do stimuli without personal relevance.

  10. Ideological reactivity: Political conservatism and brain responsivity to emotional and neutral stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tritt, Shona M; Peterson, Jordan B; Page-Gould, Elizabeth; Inzlicht, Michael

    2016-12-01

    Conservatives are often thought to have a negativity bias-responding more intensely to negative than positive information. Yet, recent research has found that greater endorsement of conservative beliefs follows from both positive and negative emotion inductions. This suggests that the role of affect in political thought may not be restricted to negative valence, and more attention should be given to how conservatives and liberals respond to a wider range of stimulation. In this vein, we examined neural responses to a full range of affective stimuli, allowing us to examine how self-reported ideology moderated these responses. Specifically, we explored the relationship between political orientation and 2 event-related potentials (1 late and 1 early) previously shown to covary with the subjective motivational salience of stimuli-in response to photographs with standardized ratings of arousal and valence. At late time points, conservatives exhibited sustained heightened reactivity, compared with liberals, specifically in response to relatively unarousing and neutral stimuli. At early time points, conservatives exhibited somewhat enhanced neural activity in response to all stimulus types compared with liberals. These results may suggest that conservatives experience a wide variety of stimuli in their environment with increased motivational salience, including positive, neutral, and low-arousal stimuli. No effects of valence were found in this investigation. Such findings have implications for the development and refinement of psychological conceptions of political orientation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  11. Gender differences in pre-attentive change detection for visual but not auditory stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Xiuxian; Yu, Yunmiao; Chen, Lu; Sun, Hailian; Qiao, Zhengxue; Qiu, Xiaohui; Zhang, Congpei; Wang, Lin; Zhu, Xiongzhao; He, Jincai; Zhao, Lun; Yang, Yanjie

    2016-01-01

    Despite ongoing debate about gender differences in pre-attention processes, little is known about gender effects on change detection for auditory and visual stimuli. We explored gender differences in change detection while processing duration information in auditory and visual modalities. We investigated pre-attentive processing of duration information using a deviant-standard reverse oddball paradigm (50 ms/150 ms) for auditory and visual mismatch negativity (aMMN and vMMN) in males and females (n=21/group). In the auditory modality, decrement and increment aMMN were observed at 150-250 ms after the stimulus onset, and there was no significant gender effect on MMN amplitudes in temporal or fronto-central areas. In contrast, in the visual modality, only increment vMMN was observed at 180-260 ms after the onset of stimulus, and it was higher in males than in females. No gender effect was found in change detection for auditory stimuli, but change detection was facilitated for visual stimuli in males. Gender effects should be considered in clinical studies of pre-attention for visual stimuli. Copyright © 2015 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Retro-active Emotion : Do Negative Emotional Stimuli Disrupt Consolidation in Working Memory?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kandemir, Güven; Akyürek, Elkan G.; Nieuwenstein, Mark R.

    2017-01-01

    While many studies have shown that a task-irrelevant emotionally arousing stimulus can interfere with the processing of a shortly following target, it remains unclear whether an emotional stimulus can also retro-actively interrupt the ongoing processing of an earlier target. In two experiments, we

  13. Emotional processing in patients with mild cognitive impairment: the influence of the valence and intensity of emotional stimuli: the valence and intensity of emotional stimuli influence emotional processing in patients with mild cognitive impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarabia-Cobo, Carmen M; García-Rodríguez, Beatriz; Navas, M José; Ellgring, Heiner

    2015-10-15

    We studied the ability of individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to process emotional facial expressions (EFEs). To date, no systematic study has addressed how variation in intensity affects recognition of the different type of EFEs in such subjects. Two groups of 50 elderly subjects, 50 healthy individuals and 50 with MCI, completed a task that involved identifying 180 EFEs prepared using virtual models. Two features of the EFEs were contemplated, their valence (operationalized in six basic emotions) and five levels of intensity. At all levels of intensity, elderly individuals with MCI were significantly worse at identifying each EFE than healthy subjects. Some emotions were easier to identify than others, with happiness proving to be the easiest to identify and disgust the hardest, and intensity influenced the identification of the EFEs (the stronger the intensity, the greater the number of correct identifications). Overall, elderly individuals with MCI had a poorer capacity to process EFEs, suggesting that cognitive ability modulates the processing of emotions, where features of such stimuli also seem to play a prominent role (e.g., valence and intensity). Thus, the neurological substrates involved in emotional processing appear to be affected by MCI. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Thermal facial reactivity patterns predict social categorization bias triggered by unconscious and conscious emotional stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ponsi, Giorgia; Panasiti, Maria Serena; Rizza, Giulia; Aglioti, Salvatore Maria

    2017-08-30

    Members of highly social species decode, interpret, and react to the emotion of a conspecific depending on whether the other belongs to the same (ingroup) or different (outgroup) social group. While studies indicate that consciously perceived emotional stimuli drive social categorization, information about how implicit emotional stimuli and specific physiological signatures affect social categorization is lacking. We addressed this issue by exploring whether subliminal and supraliminal affective priming can influence the categorization of neutral faces as ingroup versus outgroup. Functional infrared thermal imaging was used to investigate whether the effect of affective priming on the categorization decision was moderated by the activation of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS). During the subliminal condition, we found that stronger SNS activation after positive or negative affective primes induced ingroup and outgroup face categorization, respectively. The exact opposite pattern (i.e. outgroup after positive and ingroup after negative primes) was observed in the supraliminal condition. We also found that misattribution effects were stronger in people with low emotional awareness, suggesting that this trait moderates how one recognizes SNS signals and employs them for unrelated decisions. Our results allow the remarkable implication that low-level affective reactions coupled with sympathetic activation may bias social categorization. © 2017 The Author(s).

  15. [Neurophysiological Features of Perception of Emotional Stimuli in Health and in Patients with Paranoid Schizophrenia].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arkhipov, A Yu; Strelets, V B

    2015-01-01

    Cognitive and emotional disorders, as far as is known, are the main syndromes of schizophrenia. Disorders of these functions are mainly determined by the clinical picture, as well as by psychophysiological correlates. The purpose of our study was to identify some psychophysiological factors which cause perceptual and emotional disturbances in patients with schizophrenia. These disorders of mental functions form the first rank (top) syndrome in patients with schizophrenia [1]. The studied patients had acute psychosis with a predominance of paranoid hallucinatory syndrome and did not receive antipsychotic therapy; i.e., the disturbances of sensory perception were most pronounced. The analysis of early component P100 and intermediate one N170 of event related potentials (ERPs) in the control group showed an increased level of excitation in response to emotionally threatening stimuli; the amplitude increased and the latency decreased in all leads. In contrast the analysis of components P100 and N170 in the group of patients with schizophrenia showed the increased latency and decreased amplitude. The obtained data provide evidence of pathological inhibition in the passive perception of emotionally significant stimuli.

  16. EEG and EMG responses to emotion-evoking stimuli processed without conscious awareness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wexler, B E; Warrenburg, S; Schwartz, G E; Janer, L D

    1992-12-01

    Dichotic stimulus pairs were constructed with one word that was emotionally neutral and another that evoked either negative or positive feelings. Temporal and spectral overlap between the members of each pair was so great that the two words fused into a single auditory percept. Subjects were consciously aware of hearing only one word from most pairs; sometimes the emotion-evoking word was heard consciously, other times the neutral word was heard consciously. Subjects were instructed to let their thoughts wander in response to the word they heard, during which time EEG alpha activity over left and right frontal regions, and muscle activity (EMG) in the corrugator ("frowning") and zygomatic ("smiling") regions were recorded. Both EEG and EMG provided evidence of emotion-specific responses to stimuli that were processed without conscious awareness. Moreover both suggested relatively greater right hemisphere activity with unconscious rather than conscious processing.

  17. Differences in emotional stimuli processing in subjects with MTLE with and without depression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Preglej, Lidija; Marinković, Ksenija; Hećimović, Hrvoje

    2017-09-01

    In healthy people, a preference in attention maintenance and memory for words with emotional valence comparing to neutral words has been shown. The pattern of emotional stimuli processing may be different in people with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE) and it may be sensitive to the presence of depressive symptoms. In order to explore these possibilities, we applied the emotional spatial cueing attentional task and the free recall memory task to participants (N=39) with MTLE and compared them with healthy controls. We hypothesized that the pattern of maintaining attention and remembering emotional words is different in people with MTLE. Current literature indicates that this pattern will change from positive bias in the controls, though no emotional bias in the participants with MTLE without depression (MTLE-d), and in this work we examined this pattern in the participants with MTLE with depressive symptoms (MTLE+d). Our results show that in both attention and memory, control subjects exhibit positive emotional bias, the subjects with MTLE-d show nonemotional bias and the subjects with MTLE+d have bias away from positive words. Participants with MTLE+d maintained attention for positive words shorter than others. Participants with MTLE+d had worse recall for positive words than the participants with MTLE-d and for all words when compared to controls. We found that faster attention disengagement from positive words and worse memory for positive words is associated with elevated levels of depressive symptoms. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. A direct examination of the effect of intranasal administration of oxytocin on approach-avoidance motor responses to emotional stimuli.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angeliki Theodoridou

    Full Text Available Oxytocin has been shown to promote a host of social behaviors in humans but the exact mechanisms by which it exerts its effects are unspecified. One prominent theory suggests that oxytocin increases approach and decreases avoidance to social stimuli. Another dominant theory posits that oxytocin increases the salience of social stimuli. Herein, we report a direct test of these hypotheses. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study we examined approach-avoidance motor responses to social and non-social emotional stimuli. One hundred and twenty participants self-administered either 24 IU oxytocin or placebo and moved a lever toward or away from pictures of faces depicting emotional expressions or from natural scenes appearing before them on a computer screen. Lever movements toward stimuli decreased and movements away increased stimuli size producing the illusion that stimuli moved away from or approached participants. Reaction time data were recorded. The task produced the effects that were anticipated on the basis of the approach-avoidance literature in relation to emotional stimuli, yet the anticipated speeded approach and slowed avoidance responses to emotional faces by the oxytocin group were not observed. Interestingly, the oxytocin treatment group was faster to approach and avoid faces depicting disgust relative to the placebo group, suggesting a salience of disgust for the former group. Results also showed that within the oxytocin group women's reaction times to all emotional faces were faster than those of men, suggesting sex specific effects of oxytocin. The present findings provide the first direct evidence that intranasal oxytocin administration does not enhance approach/avoidance to social stimuli and does not exert a stronger effect on social vs. non-social stimuli in the context of processing of emotional expressions and scenes. Instead, our data suggest that oxytocin administration increases the salience of certain social stimuli

  19. Amplitude-modulated stimuli reveal auditory-visual interactions in brain activity and brain connectivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark eLaing

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The temporal congruence between auditory and visual signals coming from the same source can be a powerful means by which the brain integrates information from different senses. To investigate how the brain uses temporal information to integrate auditory and visual information from continuous yet unfamiliar stimuli, we use amplitude-modulated tones and size-modulated shapes with which we could manipulate the temporal congruence between the sensory signals. These signals were independently modulated at a slow or a fast rate. Participants were presented with auditory-only, visual-only or auditory-visual (AV trials in the scanner. On AV trials, the auditory and visual signal could have the same (AV congruent or different modulation rates (AV incongruent. Using psychophysiological interaction analyses, we found that auditory regions showed increased functional connectivity predominantly with frontal regions for AV incongruent relative to AV congruent stimuli. We further found that superior temporal regions, shown previously to integrate auditory and visual signals, showed increased connectivity with frontal and parietal regions for the same contrast. Our findings provide evidence that both activity in a network of brain regions and their connectivity are important for auditory-visual integration, and help to bridge the gap between transient and familiar AV stimuli used in previous studies.

  20. Contribution of Prosody in Audio-Visual Integration to Emotional Perception of Virtual Characters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ekaterina Volkova

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Recent technology provides us with realistic looking virtual characters. Motion capture and elaborate mathematical models supply data for natural looking, controllable facial and bodily animations. With the help of computational linguistics and artificial intelligence, we can automatically assign emotional categories to appropriate stretches of text for a simulation of those social scenarios where verbal communication is important. All this makes virtual characters a valuable tool for creation of versatile stimuli for research on the integration of emotion information from different modalities. We conducted an audio-visual experiment to investigate the differential contributions of emotional speech and facial expressions on emotion identification. We used recorded and synthesized speech as well as dynamic virtual faces, all enhanced for seven emotional categories. The participants were asked to recognize the prevalent emotion of paired faces and audio. Results showed that when the voice was recorded, the vocalized emotion influenced participants' emotion identification more than the facial expression. However, when the voice was synthesized, facial expression influenced participants' emotion identification more than vocalized emotion. Additionally, individuals did worse on identifying either the facial expression or vocalized emotion when the voice was synthesized. Our experimental method can help to determine how to improve synthesized emotional speech.

  1. Sensory Symptoms and Processing of Nonverbal Auditory and Visual Stimuli in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stewart, Claire R.; Sanchez, Sandra S.; Grenesko, Emily L.; Brown, Christine M.; Chen, Colleen P.; Keehn, Brandon; Velasquez, Francisco; Lincoln, Alan J.; Müller, Ralph-Axel

    2016-01-01

    Atypical sensory responses are common in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). While evidence suggests impaired auditory-visual integration for verbal information, findings for nonverbal stimuli are inconsistent. We tested for sensory symptoms in children with ASD (using the Adolescent/Adult Sensory Profile) and examined unisensory and bisensory…

  2. Fusion and rivalry are dependent on the perceptual meaning of visual stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrews, Timothy J; Lotto, R Beau

    2004-03-09

    We view the world with two eyes and yet are typically only aware of a single, coherent image. Arguably the simplest explanation for this is that the visual system unites the two monocular stimuli into a common stream that eventually leads to a single coherent sensation. However, this notion is inconsistent with the well-known phenomenon of rivalry; when physically different stimuli project to the same retinal location, the ensuing perception alternates between the two monocular views in space and time. Although fundamental for understanding the principles of binocular vision and visual awareness, the mechanisms under-lying binocular rivalry remain controversial. Specifically, there is uncertainty about what determines whether monocular images undergo fusion or rivalry. By taking advantage of the perceptual phenomenon of color contrast, we show that physically identical monocular stimuli tend to rival-not fuse-when they signify different objects at the same location in visual space. Conversely, when physically different monocular stimuli are likely to represent the same object at the same location in space, fusion is more likely to result. The data suggest that what competes for visual awareness in the two eyes is not the physical similarity between images but the similarity in their perceptual/empirical meaning.

  3. Motivationally Significant Stimuli Show Visual Prior Entry: Evidence for Attentional Capture

    Science.gov (United States)

    West, Greg L.; Anderson, Adam A. K.; Pratt, Jay

    2009-01-01

    Previous studies that have found attentional capture effects for stimuli of motivational significance do not directly measure initial attentional deployment, leaving it unclear to what extent these items produce attentional capture. Visual prior entry, as measured by temporal order judgments (TOJs), rests on the premise that allocated attention…

  4. Amplitude-modulated stimuli reveal auditory-visual interactions in brain activity and brain connectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laing, Mark; Rees, Adrian; Vuong, Quoc C

    2015-01-01

    The temporal congruence between auditory and visual signals coming from the same source can be a powerful means by which the brain integrates information from different senses. To investigate how the brain uses temporal information to integrate auditory and visual information from continuous yet unfamiliar stimuli, we used amplitude-modulated tones and size-modulated shapes with which we could manipulate the temporal congruence between the sensory signals. These signals were independently modulated at a slow or a fast rate. Participants were presented with auditory-only, visual-only, or auditory-visual (AV) trials in the fMRI scanner. On AV trials, the auditory and visual signal could have the same (AV congruent) or different modulation rates (AV incongruent). Using psychophysiological interaction analyses, we found that auditory regions showed increased functional connectivity predominantly with frontal regions for AV incongruent relative to AV congruent stimuli. We further found that superior temporal regions, shown previously to integrate auditory and visual signals, showed increased connectivity with frontal and parietal regions for the same contrast. Our findings provide evidence that both activity in a network of brain regions and their connectivity are important for AV integration, and help to bridge the gap between transient and familiar AV stimuli used in previous studies.

  5. Replay of conditioned stimuli during late REM and stage N2 sleep influences affective tone rather than emotional memory strength.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rihm, Julia S; Rasch, Björn

    2015-07-01

    Emotional memories are reprocessed during sleep, and it is widely assumed that this reprocessing occurs mainly during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. In support for this notion, vivid emotional dreams occur mainly during REM sleep, and several studies have reported emotional memory enhancement to be associated with REM sleep or REM sleep-related parameters. However, it is still unknown whether reactivation of emotional memories during REM sleep strengthens emotional memories. Here, we tested whether re-presentation of emotionally learned stimuli during REM sleep enhances emotional memory. In a split-night design, participants underwent Pavlovian conditioning after the first half of the night. Neutral sounds served as conditioned stimuli (CS) and were either paired with a negative odor (CS+) or an odorless vehicle (CS-). During sound replay in subsequent late REM or N2 sleep, half of the CS+ and half of the CS- were presented again. In contrast to our hypothesis, replay during sleep did not affect emotional memory as measured by the differentiation between CS+ and CS- in expectancy, arousal and valence ratings. However, replay unspecifically decreased subjective arousal ratings of both emotional and neutral sounds and increased positive valence ratings also for both CS+ and CS- sounds, respectively. These effects were slightly more pronounced for replay during REM sleep. Our results suggest that re-exposure to previously conditioned stimuli during late sleep does not affect emotional memory strength, but rather influences the affective tone of both emotional and neutral memories. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Postural Control in Children with Dyslexia: Effects of Emotional Stimuli in a Dual-Task Environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goulème, Nathalie; Gerard, Christophe-Loïc; Bucci, Maria Pia

    2017-08-01

    The aim of this study was to compare the visual exploration strategies used during a postural control task across participants with and without dyslexia. We simultaneously recorded eye movements and postural control while children were viewing different types of emotional faces. Twenty-two children with dyslexia and twenty-two aged-matched children without dyslexia participated in the study. We analysed the surface area, the length and the mean velocity of the centre of pressure for balance in parallel with visual saccadic latency, the number of saccades and the time spent in regions of interest. Our results showed that postural stability in children with dyslexia was weaker and the surface area of their centre of pressure increased significantly when they viewed an unpleasant face. Moreover, children with dyslexia had different strategies to those used by children without dyslexia during visual exploration, and in particular when they viewed unpleasant emotional faces. We suggest that lower performance in emotional face processing in children with dyslexia could be due to a difference in their visual strategies, linked to their identification of unpleasant emotional faces. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  7. A Diffusion Model Analysis of Decision Biases Affecting Delayed Recognition of Emotional Stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowen, Holly J.; Spaniol, Julia; Patel, Ronak; Voss, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    Previous empirical work suggests that emotion can influence accuracy and cognitive biases underlying recognition memory, depending on the experimental conditions. The current study examines the effects of arousal and valence on delayed recognition memory using the diffusion model, which allows the separation of two decision biases thought to underlie memory: response bias and memory bias. Memory bias has not been given much attention in the literature but can provide insight into the retrieval dynamics of emotion modulated memory. Participants viewed emotional pictorial stimuli; half were given a recognition test 1-day later and the other half 7-days later. Analyses revealed that emotional valence generally evokes liberal responding, whereas high arousal evokes liberal responding only at a short retention interval. The memory bias analyses indicated that participants experienced greater familiarity with high-arousal compared to low-arousal items and this pattern became more pronounced as study-test lag increased; positive items evoke greater familiarity compared to negative and this pattern remained stable across retention interval. The findings provide insight into the separate contributions of valence and arousal to the cognitive mechanisms underlying delayed emotion modulated memory. PMID:26784108

  8. Categorization abilities for emotional and nonemotional stimuli in patients with alcohol-related Korsakoff syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Labudda, Kirsten; von Rothkirch, Nadine; Pawlikowski, Mirko; Laier, Christian; Brand, Matthias

    2010-06-01

    To investigate whether patients with alcohol-related Korsakoff syndrome (KR) have emotion-specific or general deficits in multicategoric classification performance. Earlier studies have shown reduced performance in classifying stimuli according to their emotional valence in patients with KS. However, it is unclear whether such classification deficits are of emotion-specific nature or whether they can also occur when nonemotional classifications are demanded. In this study, we examined 35 patients with alcoholic KS and 35 healthy participants with the Emotional Picture Task (EPT) to assess valence classification performance, the Semantic Classification Task (SCT) to assess nonemotional categorizations, and an extensive neuropsychologic test battery. KS patients exhibited lower classification performance in both tasks compared with the healthy participants. EPT and SCT performance were related to each other. EPT and SCT performance correlated with general knowledge and EPT performance in addition with executive functions. Our results indicate a common underlying mechanism of the patients' reductions in emotional and nonemotional classification performance. These deficits are most probably based on problems in retrieving object and category knowledge and, partially, on executive functioning.

  9. Toward a reliable gaze-independent hybrid BCI combining visual and natural auditory stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbosa, Sara; Pires, Gabriel; Nunes, Urbano

    2016-03-01

    Brain computer interfaces (BCIs) are one of the last communication options for patients in the locked-in state (LIS). For complete LIS patients, interfaces must be gaze-independent due to their eye impairment. However, unimodal gaze-independent approaches typically present levels of performance substantially lower than gaze-dependent approaches. The combination of multimodal stimuli has been pointed as a viable way to increase users' performance. A hybrid visual and auditory (HVA) P300-based BCI combining simultaneously visual and auditory stimulation is proposed. Auditory stimuli are based on natural meaningful spoken words, increasing stimuli discrimination and decreasing user's mental effort in associating stimuli to the symbols. The visual part of the interface is covertly controlled ensuring gaze-independency. Four conditions were experimentally tested by 10 healthy participants: visual overt (VO), visual covert (VC), auditory (AU) and covert HVA. Average online accuracy for the hybrid approach was 85.3%, which is more than 32% over VC and AU approaches. Questionnaires' results indicate that the HVA approach was the less demanding gaze-independent interface. Interestingly, the P300 grand average for HVA approach coincides with an almost perfect sum of P300 evoked separately by VC and AU tasks. The proposed HVA-BCI is the first solution simultaneously embedding natural spoken words and visual words to provide a communication lexicon. Online accuracy and task demand of the approach compare favorably with state-of-the-art. The proposed approach shows that the simultaneous combination of visual covert control and auditory modalities can effectively improve the performance of gaze-independent BCIs. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. [WMN: a negative ERPs component related to working memory during non-target visual stimuli processing].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Lun; Wei, Jin-he

    2003-10-01

    To study non-target stimuli processing in the brain. Features of the event-related potentials (ERPs) from non-target stimuli during selective response task (SR) was compared with that during visual selective discrimination (DR) task in 26 normal subjects. The stimuli consisted of two color LED flashes (red and green) appeared randomly in left (LVF) or right (RVF) visual field with same probability. ERPs were derived at 9 electrode sites on the scalp under 2 task conditions: a) SR, making switch response to the target (NT) stimuli from LVF or RVF in one direction and making no response to the non-target (NT) ones; b) DR, making switching response to T stimuli differentially, i.e., to the left for T from LVF and to the right for T from RVF. 1) the non-target stimuli in DR conditions, compared with that in SR condition, elicited smaller P2 and P3 components and larger N2 component at the frontal brain areas; 2) a significant negative component, named as WMN (working memory negativity), appeared in the non-target ERPs during DR in the period of 100 to 700 ms post stimulation which was predominant at the frontal brain areas. According to the major difference between brain activities for non-target stimuli during SR and DR, the predominant appearance of WMN at the frontal brain areas demonstrated that the non-target stimulus processing was an active process and was related to working memory, i.e., the temporary elimination and the retrieval of the response mode which was stored in working memory.

  11. Preserved suppression of salient irrelevant stimuli during visual search in Age-Associated Memory Impairment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura eLorenzo-López

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Previous studies have suggested that older adults with age-associated memory impairment (AAMI may show a significant decline in attentional resource capacity and inhibitory processes in addition to memory impairment. In the present paper, the potential attentional capture by task-irrelevant stimuli was examined in older adults with AAMI compared to healthy older adults using scalp-recorded event-related brain potentials (ERPs. ERPs were recorded during the execution of a visual search task, in which the participants had to detect the presence of a target stimulus that differed from distractors by orientation. To explore the automatic attentional capture phenomenon, an irrelevant distractor stimulus defined by a different feature (color was also presented without previous knowledge of the participants. A consistent N2pc, an electrophysiological indicator of attentional deployment, was present for target stimuli but not for task-irrelevant color stimuli, suggesting that these irrelevant distractors did not attract attention in AAMI older adults. Furthermore, the N2pc for targets was significantly delayed in AAMI patients compared to healthy older controls. Together, these findings suggest a specific impairment of the attentional selection process of relevant target stimuli in these individuals and indicate that the mechanism of top-down suppression of entirely task-irrelevant stimuli is preserved, at least when the target and the irrelevant stimuli are perceptually very different.

  12. Enhanced Recognition Memory in Grapheme-Colour Synaesthesia for Different Categories of Visual Stimuli

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    Jamie eWard

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Memory has been shown to be enhanced in grapheme-colour synaesthesia, and this enhancement extends to certain visual stimuli (that don’t induce synaesthesia as well as stimuli comprised of graphemes (which do. Previous studies have used a variety of testing procedures to assess memory in synaesthesia (e.g. free recall, recognition, associative learning making it hard to know the extent to which memory benefits are attributable to the stimulus properties themselves, the testing method, participant strategies, or some combination of these factors. In the first experiment, we use the same testing procedure (recognition memory for a variety of stimuli (written words, nonwords, scenes, and fractals and also check which memorisation strategies were used. We demonstrate that grapheme-colour synaesthetes show enhanced memory across all these stimuli, but this is not found for a non-visual type of synaesthesia (lexical-gustatory. In the second experiment, the memory advantage for scenes is explored further by manipulating the properties of the old and new images (changing colour, orientation, or object presence. Again, grapheme-colour synaesthetes show a memory advantage for scenes across all manipulations. Although recognition memory is generally enhanced in this study, the largest effects were found for abstract visual images (fractals and scenes for which colour can be used to discriminate old/new status.

  13. Enhanced recognition memory in grapheme-color synaesthesia for different categories of visual stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, Jamie; Hovard, Peter; Jones, Alicia; Rothen, Nicolas

    2013-01-01

    Memory has been shown to be enhanced in grapheme-color synaesthesia, and this enhancement extends to certain visual stimuli (that don't induce synaesthesia) as well as stimuli comprised of graphemes (which do). Previous studies have used a variety of testing procedures to assess memory in synaesthesia (e.g., free recall, recognition, associative learning) making it hard to know the extent to which memory benefits are attributable to the stimulus properties themselves, the testing method, participant strategies, or some combination of these factors. In the first experiment, we use the same testing procedure (recognition memory) for a variety of stimuli (written words, non-words, scenes, and fractals) and also check which memorization strategies were used. We demonstrate that grapheme-color synaesthetes show enhanced memory across all these stimuli, but this is not found for a non-visual type of synaesthesia (lexical-gustatory). In the second experiment, the memory advantage for scenes is explored further by manipulating the properties of the old and new images (changing color, orientation, or object presence). Again, grapheme-color synaesthetes show a memory advantage for scenes across all manipulations. Although recognition memory is generally enhanced in this study, the largest effects were found for abstract visual images (fractals) and scenes for which color can be used to discriminate old/new status.

  14. The Lurking Snake in the Grass: Interference of Snake Stimuli in Visually Taxing Conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra Cristina Soares

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Based on evolutionary considerations, it was hypothesized that humans have been shaped to easily spot snakes in visually cluttered scenes that might otherwise hide camouflaged snakes. This hypothesis was tested in a visual search experiment in which I assessed automatic attention capture to evolutionarily-relevant distractor stimuli (snakes, in comparison with another animal which is also feared but where this fear has a disputed evolutionary origin (spiders, and neutral stimuli (mushrooms. Sixty participants were engaged in a task that involved the detection of a target (a bird among pictures of fruits. Unexpectedly, on some trials, a snake, a spider, or a mushroom replaced one of the fruits. The question of interest was whether the distracting stimuli slowed the reaction times for finding the target (the bird to different degrees. Perceptual load of the task was manipulated by increments in the set size (6 or 12 items on different trials. The findings showed that snake stimuli were processed preferentially, particularly under conditions where attentional resources were depleted, which reinforced the role of this evolutionarily-relevant stimulus in accessing the visual system (Isbell, 2009.

  15. Visualizing acoustic similarities between emotions in speech: an acoustic map of emotions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Truong, K.P.; Leeuwen, D.A. van

    2007-01-01

    In this paper, we introduce a visual analysis method to assess the discriminability and confusiability between emotions according to automatic emotion classifiers. The degree of acoustic similarities between emotions can be defined in terms of distances that are based on pair-wise emotion

  16. Investigating emotional top down modulation of ambiguous faces by single pulse TMS on early visual cortices

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zachary Adam Yaple

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Top-down processing is a mechanism in which memory, context and expectation are used to perceive stimuli. For this study we investigated how emotion content, induced by music mood, influences perception of happy and sad emoticons. Using single pulse TMS we stimulated right occipital face area (rOFA, primary visual cortex (V1 and vertex while subjects performed a face-detection task and listened to happy and sad music. At baseline, incongruent audio-visual pairings decreased performance, demonstrating dependence of emotion while perceiving ambiguous faces. However, performance of face identification decreased during rOFA stimulation regardless of emotional content. No effects were found between Cz and V1 stimulation. These results suggest that while rOFA is important for processing faces regardless of emotion, V1 stimulation had no effect. Our findings suggest that early visual cortex activity may not integrate emotional auditory information with visual information during emotion top-down modulation of faces.

  17. Learning of arbitrary association between visual and auditory novel stimuli in adults: the "bond effect" of haptic exploration.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin Fredembach

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: It is well-known that human beings are able to associate stimuli (novel or not perceived in their environment. For example, this ability is used by children in reading acquisition when arbitrary associations between visual and auditory stimuli must be learned. The studies tend to consider it as an "implicit" process triggered by the learning of letter/sound correspondences. The study described in this paper examined whether the addition of the visuo-haptic exploration would help adults to learn more effectively the arbitrary association between visual and auditory novel stimuli. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Adults were asked to learn 15 new arbitrary associations between visual stimuli and their corresponding sounds using two learning methods which differed according to the perceptual modalities involved in the exploration of the visual stimuli. Adults used their visual modality in the "classic" learning method and both their visual and haptic modalities in the "multisensory" learning one. After both learning methods, participants showed a similar above-chance ability to recognize the visual and auditory stimuli and the audio-visual associations. However, the ability to recognize the visual-auditory associations was better after the multisensory method than after the classic one. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: This study revealed that adults learned more efficiently the arbitrary association between visual and auditory novel stimuli when the visual stimuli were explored with both vision and touch. The results are discussed from the perspective of how they relate to the functional differences of the manual haptic modality and the hypothesis of a "haptic bond" between visual and auditory stimuli.

  18. Gestalt perceptual organization of visual stimuli captures attention automatically: Electrophysiological evidence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesco Marini

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The visual system leverages organizational regularities of perceptual elements to create meaningful representations of the world. One clear example of such function, which has been formalized in the Gestalt psychology principles, is the perceptual grouping of simple visual elements (e.g., lines and arcs into unitary objects (e.g., forms and shapes. The present study sought to characterize automatic attentional capture and related cognitive processing of Gestalt-like visual stimuli at the psychophysiological level by using event-related potentials (ERPs. We measured ERPs during a simple visual reaction time task with bilateral presentations of physically matched elements with or without a Gestalt organization. Results showed that Gestalt (vs. non-Gestalt stimuli are characterized by a larger N2pc together with enhanced ERP amplitudes of non-lateralized components (N1, N2, P3 starting around 150ms post-stimulus onset. Thus, we conclude that Gestalt stimuli capture attention automatically and entail characteristic psychophysiological signatures at both early and late processing stages.

  19. Seeing music: The perception of melodic 'ups and downs' modulates the spatial processing of visual stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romero-Rivas, Carlos; Vera-Constán, Fátima; Rodríguez-Cuadrado, Sara; Puigcerver, Laura; Fernández-Prieto, Irune; Navarra, Jordi

    2018-05-10

    Musical melodies have "peaks" and "valleys". Although the vertical component of pitch and music is well-known, the mechanisms underlying its mental representation still remain elusive. We show evidence regarding the importance of previous experience with melodies for crossmodal interactions to emerge. The impact of these crossmodal interactions on other perceptual and attentional processes was also studied. Melodies including two tones with different frequency (e.g., E4 and D3) were repeatedly presented during the study. These melodies could either generate strong predictions (e.g., E4-D3-E4-D3-E4-[D3]) or not (e.g., E4-D3-E4-E4-D3-[?]). After the presentation of each melody, the participants had to judge the colour of a visual stimulus that appeared in a position that was, according to the traditional vertical connotations of pitch, either congruent (e.g., high-low-high-low-[up]), incongruent (high-low-high-low-[down]) or unpredicted with respect to the melody. Behavioural and electroencephalographic responses to the visual stimuli were obtained. Congruent visual stimuli elicited faster responses at the end of the experiment than at the beginning. Additionally, incongruent visual stimuli that broke the spatial prediction generated by the melody elicited larger P3b amplitudes (reflecting 'surprise' responses). Our results suggest that the passive (but repeated) exposure to melodies elicits spatial predictions that modulate the processing of other sensory events. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Hemispheric asymmetry of emotion words in a non-native mind: a divided visual field study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jończyk, Rafał

    2015-05-01

    This study investigates hemispheric specialization for emotional words among proficient non-native speakers of English by means of the divided visual field paradigm. The motivation behind the study is to extend the monolingual hemifield research to the non-native context and see how emotion words are processed in a non-native mind. Sixty eight females participated in the study, all highly proficient in English. The stimuli comprised 12 positive nouns, 12 negative nouns, 12 non-emotional nouns and 36 pseudo-words. To examine the lateralization of emotion, stimuli were presented unilaterally in a random fashion for 180 ms in a go/no-go lexical decision task. The perceptual data showed a right hemispheric advantage for processing speed of negative words and a complementary role of the two hemispheres in the recognition accuracy of experimental stimuli. The data indicate that processing of emotion words in non-native language may require greater interhemispheric communication, but at the same time demonstrates a specific role of the right hemisphere in the processing of negative relative to positive valence. The results of the study are discussed in light of the methodological inconsistencies in the hemifield research as well as the non-native context in which the study was conducted.

  1. Metabolic response to optic centers to visual stimuli in the albino rat: anatomical and physiological considerations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Toga, A.W.; Collins, R.C.

    1981-01-01

    The functional organization of the visual system was studied in the albino rat. Metabolic differences were measured using the 14 C-2-deoxyglucose (DG) autoradiographic technique during visual stimulation of one entire retina in unrestrained animals. All optic centers responded to changes in light intensity but to different degrees. The greatest change occurred in the superior colliculus, less in the lateral geniculate, and considerably less in second-order sites such as layer IV of visual cortex. These optic centers responded in particular to on/off stimuli, but showed no incremental change during pattern reversal or movement of orientation stimuli. Both the superior colliculus and lateral geniculate increased their metabolic rate as the frequency of stimulation increased, but the magnitude was twice as great in the colliculus. The histological pattern of metabolic change in the visual system was not homogenous. In the superior colliculus glucose utilization increased only in stratum griseum superficiale and was greatest in visuotopic regions representing the peripheral portions of the visual field. Similarly, in the lateral geniculate, only the dorsal nucleus showed an increased response to greater stimulus frequencies. Second-order regions of the visual system showed changes in metabolism in response to visual stimulation, but no incremental response specific for type or frequency of stimuli. To label proteins of axoplasmic transport to study the terminal fields of retinal projections 14 C-amino acids were used. This was done to study how the differences in the magnitude of the metabolic response among optic centers were related to the relative quantity of retinofugal projections to these centers

  2. Attentional bias to briefly presented emotional distractors follows a slow time course in visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller, Matthias M; Andersen, Søren K; Hindi Attar, Catherine

    2011-11-02

    A central controversy in the field of attention is how the brain deals with emotional distractors and to what extent they capture attentional processing resources reflexively due to their inherent significance for guidance of adaptive behavior and survival. Especially, the time course of competitive interactions in early visual areas and whether masking of briefly presented emotional stimuli can inhibit biasing of processing resources in these areas is currently unknown. We recorded frequency-tagged potentials evoked by a flickering target detection task in the foreground of briefly presented emotional or neutral pictures that were followed by a mask in human subjects. We observed greater competition for processing resources in early visual cortical areas with shortly presented emotional relative to neutral pictures ~275 ms after picture offset. This was paralleled by a reduction of target detection rates in trials with emotional pictures ~400 ms after picture offset. Our finding that briefly presented emotional distractors are able to bias attention well after their offset provides evidence for a rather slow feedback or reentrant neural competition mechanism for emotional distractors that continues after the offset of the emotional stimulus.

  3. Visual attention to emotional face in schizophrenia: an eye tracking study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mania Asgharpour

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Deficits in the processing of facial emotions have been reported extensively in patients with schizophrenia. To explore whether restricted attention is the cause of impaired emotion processing in these patients, we examined visual attention through tracking eye movements in response to emotional and neutral face stimuli in a group of patients with schizophrenia and healthy individuals. We also examined the correlation between visual attention allocation and symptoms severity in our patient group.Thirty adult patients with schizophrenia and 30 matched healthy controls participated in this study. Visual attention data were recorded while participants passively viewed emotional-neutral face pairs for 500 ms. The relationship between the visual attention and symptoms severity were assessed by the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS in the schizophrenia group. Repeated Measures ANOVAs were used to compare the groups.Comparing the number of fixations made during face-pairs presentation, we found that patients with schizophrenia made fewer fixations on faces, regardless of the expression of the face. Analysis of the number of fixations on negative-neutral pairs also revealed that the patients made fewer fixations on both neutral and negative faces. Analysis of number of fixations on positive-neutral pairs only showed more fixations on positive relative to neutral expressions in both groups. We found no correlations between visual attention pattern to faces and symptom severity in schizophrenic patients.The results of this study suggest that the facial recognition deficit in schizophrenia is related to decreased attention to face stimuli. Finding of no difference in visual attention for positive-neutral face pairs between the groups is in line with studies that have shown increased ability to positive emotional perception in these patients.

  4. Awareness of Emotional Stimuli Determines the Behavioral Consequences of Amygdala Activation and Amygdala-Prefrontal Connectivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lapate, R. C.; Rokers, B.; Tromp, D. P. M.; Orfali, N. S.; Oler, J. A.; Doran, S. T.; Adluru, N.; Alexander, A. L.; Davidson, R. J.

    2016-01-01

    Conscious awareness of negative cues is thought to enhance emotion-regulatory capacity, but the neural mechanisms underlying this effect are unknown. Using continuous flash suppression (CFS) in the MRI scanner, we manipulated visual awareness of fearful faces during an affect misattribution paradigm, in which preferences for neutral objects can be biased by the valence of a previously presented stimulus. The amygdala responded to fearful faces independently of awareness. However, when awareness of fearful faces was prevented, individuals with greater amygdala responses displayed a negative bias toward unrelated novel neutral faces. In contrast, during the aware condition, inverse coupling between the amygdala and prefrontal cortex reduced this bias, particularly among individuals with higher structural connectivity in the major white matter pathway connecting the prefrontal cortex and amygdala. Collectively, these results indicate that awareness promotes the function of a critical emotion-regulatory network targeting the amygdala, providing a mechanistic account for the role of awareness in emotion regulation. PMID:27181344

  5. Learning efficient visual search for stimuli containing diagnostic spatial configurations and color-shape conjunctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reavis, Eric A; Frank, Sebastian M; Tse, Peter U

    2018-04-12

    Visual search is often slow and difficult for complex stimuli such as feature conjunctions. Search efficiency, however, can improve with training. Search for stimuli that can be identified by the spatial configuration of two elements (e.g., the relative position of two colored shapes) improves dramatically within a few hundred trials of practice. Several recent imaging studies have identified neural correlates of this learning, but it remains unclear what stimulus properties participants learn to use to search efficiently. Influential models, such as reverse hierarchy theory, propose two major possibilities: learning to use information contained in low-level image statistics (e.g., single features at particular retinotopic locations) or in high-level characteristics (e.g., feature conjunctions) of the task-relevant stimuli. In a series of experiments, we tested these two hypotheses, which make different predictions about the effect of various stimulus manipulations after training. We find relatively small effects of manipulating low-level properties of the stimuli (e.g., changing their retinotopic location) and some conjunctive properties (e.g., color-position), whereas the effects of manipulating other conjunctive properties (e.g., color-shape) are larger. Overall, the findings suggest conjunction learning involving such stimuli might be an emergent phenomenon that reflects multiple different learning processes, each of which capitalizes on different types of information contained in the stimuli. We also show that both targets and distractors are learned, and that reversing learned target and distractor identities impairs performance. This suggests that participants do not merely learn to discriminate target and distractor stimuli, they also learn stimulus identity mappings that contribute to performance improvements.

  6. An fMRI investigation into the effect of preceding stimuli during visual oddball tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fajkus, Jiří; Mikl, Michal; Shaw, Daniel Joel; Brázdil, Milan

    2015-08-15

    This study investigates the modulatory effect of stimulus sequence on neural responses to novel stimuli. A group of 34 healthy volunteers underwent event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging while performing a three-stimulus visual oddball task, involving randomly presented frequent stimuli and two types of infrequent stimuli - targets and distractors. We developed a modified categorization of rare stimuli that incorporated the type of preceding rare stimulus, and analyzed the event-related functional data according to this sequence categorization; specifically, we explored hemodynamic response modulation associated with increasing rare-to-rare stimulus interval. For two consecutive targets, a modulation of brain function was evident throughout posterior midline and lateral temporal cortex, while responses to targets preceded by distractors were modulated in a widely distributed fronto-parietal system. As for distractors that follow targets, brain function was modulated throughout a set of posterior brain structures. For two successive distractors, however, no significant modulation was observed, which is consistent with previous studies and our primary hypothesis. The addition of the aforementioned technique extends the possibilities of conventional oddball task analysis, enabling researchers to explore the effects of the whole range of rare stimuli intervals. This methodology can be applied to study a wide range of associated cognitive mechanisms, such as decision making, expectancy and attention. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Neurochemical responses to chromatic and achromatic stimuli in the human visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bednařík, Petr; Tkáč, Ivan; Giove, Federico; Eberly, Lynn E; Deelchand, Dinesh K; Barreto, Felipe R; Mangia, Silvia

    2018-02-01

    In the present study, we aimed at determining the metabolic responses of the human visual cortex during the presentation of chromatic and achromatic stimuli, known to preferentially activate two separate clusters of neuronal populations (called "blobs" and "interblobs") with distinct sensitivity to color or luminance features. Since blobs and interblobs have different cytochrome-oxidase (COX) content and micro-vascularization level (i.e., different capacities for glucose oxidation), different functional metabolic responses during chromatic vs. achromatic stimuli may be expected. The stimuli were optimized to evoke a similar load of neuronal activation as measured by the bold oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) contrast. Metabolic responses were assessed using functional 1 H MRS at 7 T in 12 subjects. During both chromatic and achromatic stimuli, we observed the typical increases in glutamate and lactate concentration, and decreases in aspartate and glucose concentration, that are indicative of increased glucose oxidation. However, within the detection sensitivity limits, we did not observe any difference between metabolic responses elicited by chromatic and achromatic stimuli. We conclude that the higher energy demands of activated blobs and interblobs are supported by similar increases in oxidative metabolism despite the different capacities of these neuronal populations.

  8. Action video game players' visual search advantage extends to biologically relevant stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chisholm, Joseph D; Kingstone, Alan

    2015-07-01

    Research investigating the effects of action video game experience on cognition has demonstrated a host of performance improvements on a variety of basic tasks. Given the prevailing evidence that these benefits result from efficient control of attentional processes, there has been growing interest in using action video games as a general tool to enhance everyday attentional control. However, to date, there is little evidence indicating that the benefits of action video game playing scale up to complex settings with socially meaningful stimuli - one of the fundamental components of our natural environment. The present experiment compared action video game player (AVGP) and non-video game player (NVGP) performance on an oculomotor capture task that presented participants with face stimuli. In addition, the expression of a distractor face was manipulated to assess if action video game experience modulated the effect of emotion. Results indicate that AVGPs experience less oculomotor capture than NVGPs; an effect that was not influenced by the emotional content depicted by distractor faces. It is noteworthy that this AVGP advantage emerged despite participants being unaware that the investigation had to do with video game playing, and participants being equivalent in their motivation and treatment of the task as a game. The results align with the notion that action video game experience is associated with superior attentional and oculomotor control, and provides evidence that these benefits can generalize to more complex and biologically relevant stimuli. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Correlation between MEG and BOLD fMRI signals induced by visual flicker stimuli

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Chu Renxin; Holroyd Tom; Duyn Jeff

    2007-01-01

    The goal of this work was to investigate how the MEG signal amplitude correlates with that of BOLD fMRI.To investigate the correlation between fMRI and macroscopic electrical activity, BOLD fMRI and MEG was performed on the same subjects (n =5). A visual flicker stimulus of varying temporal frequency was used to elicit neural responses in early visual areas. A strong similarity was observed in frequency tuning curves between both modalities.Although, averaged over subjects, the BOLD tuning curve was somewhat broader than MEG, both BOLD and MEG had maxima at a flicker frequency of 10 Hz. Also, we measured the first and second harmonic components as the stimuli frequency by MEG. In the low stimuli frequency (less than 6 Hz), the second harmonic has comparable amplitude with the first harmonic, which implies that neural frequency response is nonlinear and has more nonlinear components in low frequency than in high frequency.

  10. Association of Concurrent fNIRS and EEG Signatures in Response to Auditory and Visual Stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Ling-Chia; Sandmann, Pascale; Thorne, Jeremy D; Herrmann, Christoph S; Debener, Stefan

    2015-09-01

    Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) has been proven reliable for investigation of low-level visual processing in both infants and adults. Similar investigation of fundamental auditory processes with fNIRS, however, remains only partially complete. Here we employed a systematic three-level validation approach to investigate whether fNIRS could capture fundamental aspects of bottom-up acoustic processing. We performed a simultaneous fNIRS-EEG experiment with visual and auditory stimulation in 24 participants, which allowed the relationship between changes in neural activity and hemoglobin concentrations to be studied. In the first level, the fNIRS results showed a clear distinction between visual and auditory sensory modalities. Specifically, the results demonstrated area specificity, that is, maximal fNIRS responses in visual and auditory areas for the visual and auditory stimuli respectively, and stimulus selectivity, whereby the visual and auditory areas responded mainly toward their respective stimuli. In the second level, a stimulus-dependent modulation of the fNIRS signal was observed in the visual area, as well as a loudness modulation in the auditory area. Finally in the last level, we observed significant correlations between simultaneously-recorded visual evoked potentials and deoxygenated hemoglobin (DeoxyHb) concentration, and between late auditory evoked potentials and oxygenated hemoglobin (OxyHb) concentration. In sum, these results suggest good sensitivity of fNIRS to low-level sensory processing in both the visual and the auditory domain, and provide further evidence of the neurovascular coupling between hemoglobin concentration changes and non-invasive brain electrical activity.

  11. Contingent capture of involuntary visual attention interferes with detection of auditory stimuli

    OpenAIRE

    Kamke, Marc R.; Harris, Jill

    2014-01-01

    The involuntary capture of attention by salient visual stimuli can be influenced by the behavioral goals of an observer. For example, when searching for a target item, irrelevant items that possess the target-defining characteristic capture attention more strongly than items not possessing that feature. Such contingent capture involves a shift of spatial attention toward the item with the target-defining characteristic. It is not clear, however, if the associated decrements in performance for...

  12. Contingent capture of involuntary visual attention interferes with detection of auditory stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamke, Marc R; Harris, Jill

    2014-01-01

    The involuntary capture of attention by salient visual stimuli can be influenced by the behavioral goals of an observer. For example, when searching for a target item, irrelevant items that possess the target-defining characteristic capture attention more strongly than items not possessing that feature. Such contingent capture involves a shift of spatial attention toward the item with the target-defining characteristic. It is not clear, however, if the associated decrements in performance for detecting the target item are entirely due to involuntary orienting of spatial attention. To investigate whether contingent capture also involves a non-spatial interference, adult observers were presented with streams of visual and auditory stimuli and were tasked with simultaneously monitoring for targets in each modality. Visual and auditory targets could be preceded by a lateralized visual distractor that either did, or did not, possess the target-defining feature (a specific color). In agreement with the contingent capture hypothesis, target-colored distractors interfered with visual detection performance (response time and accuracy) more than distractors that did not possess the target color. Importantly, the same pattern of results was obtained for the auditory task: visual target-colored distractors interfered with sound detection. The decrement in auditory performance following a target-colored distractor suggests that contingent capture involves a source of processing interference in addition to that caused by a spatial shift of attention. Specifically, we argue that distractors possessing the target-defining characteristic enter a capacity-limited, serial stage of neural processing, which delays detection of subsequently presented stimuli regardless of the sensory modality.

  13. Contingent capture of involuntary visual attention interferes with detection of auditory stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marc R. Kamke

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The involuntary capture of attention by salient visual stimuli can be influenced by the behavioral goals of an observer. For example, when searching for a target item, irrelevant items that possess the target-defining characteristic capture attention more strongly than items not possessing that feature. Such contingent capture involves a shift of spatial attention toward the item with the target-defining characteristic. It is not clear, however, if the associated decrements in performance for detecting the target item are entirely due to involuntary orienting of spatial attention. To investigate whether contingent capture also involves a non-spatial interference, adult observers were presented with streams of visual and auditory stimuli and were tasked with simultaneously monitoring for targets in each modality. Visual and auditory targets could be preceded by a lateralized visual distractor that either did, or did not, possess the target-defining feature (a specific color. In agreement with the contingent capture hypothesis, target-colored distractors interfered with visual detection performance (response time and accuracy more than distractors that did not possess the target color. Importantly, the same pattern of results was obtained for the auditory task: visual target-colored distractors interfered with sound detection. The decrement in auditory performance following a target-colored distractor suggests that contingent capture involves a source of processing interference in addition to that caused by a spatial shift of attention. Specifically, we argue that distractors possessing the target-defining characteristic enter a capacity-limited, serial stage of neural processing, which delays detection of subsequently presented stimuli regardless of the sensory modality.

  14. Integrating Dimensional and Discrete Theories of Emotions: A New Set of Anger- and Fear-Eliciting Stimuli for Children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scaini, Simona; Rancoita, Paola M V; Martoni, Riccardo M; Omero, Micol; Ogliari, Anna; Brombin, Chiara

    2017-01-01

    The selection of appropriate stimuli for inducing specific emotional states has become one of the most challenging topics in psychological research. In the literature there is a lack of affective picture database specifically suited to investigate emotional response in children. Here the authors present the methodology that led us to create a new database (called Anger- and Fear-Eliciting Stimuli for Children) of affective stimuli inducing experiences of 3 target emotions (neutral, anger, and fear) to use in experimental session involving children. A total of 84 children were asked to (a) indicate the perceived emotion and its intensity and (b) rate the three affective dimensions of the Self-Assessment Manikin (SAM). Based on concordance between labeled and expected target emotion, the authors decided to select 15 stimuli to be included in Multivariate modeling techniques were applied to evaluate the association between expected target emotion and SAM ratings. The authors found that the hit rate for the neutral pictures was good (greater than 81%), for fear-eliciting pictures it was greater than 64%, and for anger-eliciting pictures it was moderate (between 45% and 56%). The study results reveal also an age effect only in the arousal scale. However, the authors did not find significant gender-related differences in SAM ratings.

  15. Identifying attentional bias and emotional response after appearance-related stimuli exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Ara; Kwak, Soo-Min; Lee, Jang-Han

    2013-01-01

    The effect of media images has been regarded as a significant variable in the construction or in the activation of body images. Individuals who have a negative body image use avoidance coping strategies to minimize damage to their body image. We identified attentional biases and negative emotional responses following exposure to body stimuli. Female university students were divided into two groups based on their use of avoidance coping strategies (high-level group: high avoidance [HA]; low-group: low avoidance [LA]), and were assigned to two different conditions (exposure to thin body pictures, ET, and exposure to oversized body pictures, EO). Results showed that the HA group paid more attention to slim bodies and reported more negative emotions than the LA group, and that the EO had more negative effects than the ET. We suggest that HAs may attend more to slim bodies as a way of avoiding overweight bodies, influenced by social pressure, and in the search for a compensation of a positive emotional balance. However, attentional bias toward slim bodies can cause an upward comparison process, leading to increased body dissatisfaction, which is the main factor in the development of eating disorders (EDs). Therefore, altering avoidance coping strategies should be considered for people at risk of EDs.

  16. Epistemic motivation affects the processing of negative emotional stimuli in interpersonal decisions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhenyu eWei

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available The present electrophysiological study investigated the role of the need for cognitive closure (NFC in emotional processing. The NFC is conceptualized as an epistemic motive that is related to how and why people seek out information in social environments. Event-related potentials were recorded while individuals with high NFC (i.e., low epistemic motivation or low NFC (i.e., high epistemic motivation performed a modified Ultimatum Game, in which the emotions of happy or angry game agents were employed to predict their most likely offer. High-NFC participants more closely adhered to the decisions rules of the game than low-NFC individuals did. The electrophysiological results showed that the dispositional NFC modified early perceptual components (N170, N200, and P200. The potentials showed that high-NFC subjects had a processing bias to angry faces, whereas low-NFC individuals exhibited no such effects. These findings indicated that high-NFC individuals were more sensitive to negative emotional stimuli than low-NFC individuals in an interpersonal decision-making task.

  17. Brain activation by visual erotic stimuli in healthy middle aged males.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, S W; Sohn, D W; Cho, Y-H; Yang, W S; Lee, K-U; Juh, R; Ahn, K-J; Chung, Y-A; Han, S-I; Lee, K H; Lee, C U; Chae, J-H

    2006-01-01

    The objective of the present study was to identify brain centers, whose activity changes are related to erotic visual stimuli in healthy, heterosexual, middle aged males. Ten heterosexual, right-handed males with normal sexual function were entered into the present study (mean age 52 years, range 46-55). All potential subjects were screened over 1 h interview, and were encouraged to fill out questionnaires including the Brief Male Sexual Function Inventory. All subjects with a history of sexual arousal disorder or erectile dysfunction were excluded. We performed functional brain magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in male volunteers when an alternatively combined erotic and nonerotic film was played for 14 min and 9 s. The major areas of activation associated with sexual arousal to visual stimuli were occipitotemporal area, anterior cingulate gyrus, insula, orbitofrontal cortex, caudate nucleus. However, hypothalamus and thalamus were not activated. We suggest that the nonactivation of hypothalamus and thalamus in middle aged males may be responsible for the lesser physiological arousal in response to the erotic visual stimuli.

  18. Age-related differences in event-related potentials for early visual processing of emotional faces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hilimire, Matthew R; Mienaltowski, Andrew; Blanchard-Fields, Fredda; Corballis, Paul M

    2014-07-01

    With advancing age, processing resources are shifted away from negative emotional stimuli and toward positive ones. Here, we explored this 'positivity effect' using event-related potentials (ERPs). Participants identified the presence or absence of a visual probe that appeared over photographs of emotional faces. The ERPs elicited by the onsets of angry, sad, happy and neutral faces were recorded. We examined the frontocentral emotional positivity (FcEP), which is defined as a positive deflection in the waveforms elicited by emotional expressions relative to neutral faces early on in the time course of the ERP. The FcEP is thought to reflect enhanced early processing of emotional expressions. The results show that within the first 130 ms young adults show an FcEP to negative emotional expressions, whereas older adults show an FcEP to positive emotional expressions. These findings provide additional evidence that the age-related positivity effect in emotion processing can be traced to automatic processes that are evident very early in the processing of emotional facial expressions. © The Author (2013). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  19. Self-reference modulates the processing of emotional stimuli in the absence of explicit self-referential appraisal instructions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pauli, Paul; Herbert, Beate M.

    2011-01-01

    Self-referential evaluation of emotional stimuli has been shown to modify the way emotional stimuli are processed. This study aimed at a new approach by investigating whether self-reference alters emotion processing in the absence of explicit self-referential appraisal instructions. Event-related potentials were measured while subjects spontaneously viewed a series of emotional and neutral nouns. Nouns were preceded either by personal pronouns (‘my’) indicating self-reference or a definite article (‘the’) without self-reference. The early posterior negativity, a brain potential reflecting rapid attention capture by emotional stimuli was enhanced for unpleasant and pleasant nouns relative to neutral nouns irrespective of whether nouns were preceded by personal pronouns or articles. Later brain potentials such as the late positive potential were enhanced for unpleasant nouns only when preceded by personal pronouns. Unpleasant nouns were better remembered than pleasant or neutral nouns when paired with a personal pronoun. Correlation analysis showed that this bias in favor of self-related unpleasant concepts can be explained by participants’ depression scores. Our results demonstrate that self-reference acts as a first processing filter for emotional material to receive higher order processing after an initial rapid attention capture by emotional content has been completed. Mood-congruent processing may contribute to this effect. PMID:20855295

  20. Exploring combinations of auditory and visual stimuli for gaze-independent brain-computer interfaces.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xingwei An

    Full Text Available For Brain-Computer Interface (BCI systems that are designed for users with severe impairments of the oculomotor system, an appropriate mode of presenting stimuli to the user is crucial. To investigate whether multi-sensory integration can be exploited in the gaze-independent event-related potentials (ERP speller and to enhance BCI performance, we designed a visual-auditory speller. We investigate the possibility to enhance stimulus presentation by combining visual and auditory stimuli within gaze-independent spellers. In this study with N = 15 healthy users, two different ways of combining the two sensory modalities are proposed: simultaneous redundant streams (Combined-Speller and interleaved independent streams (Parallel-Speller. Unimodal stimuli were applied as control conditions. The workload, ERP components, classification accuracy and resulting spelling speed were analyzed for each condition. The Combined-speller showed a lower workload than uni-modal paradigms, without the sacrifice of spelling performance. Besides, shorter latencies, lower amplitudes, as well as a shift of the temporal and spatial distribution of discriminative information were observed for Combined-speller. These results are important and are inspirations for future studies to search the reason for these differences. For the more innovative and demanding Parallel-Speller, where the auditory and visual domains are independent from each other, a proof of concept was obtained: fifteen users could spell online with a mean accuracy of 87.7% (chance level <3% showing a competitive average speed of 1.65 symbols per minute. The fact that it requires only one selection period per symbol makes it a good candidate for a fast communication channel. It brings a new insight into the true multisensory stimuli paradigms. Novel approaches for combining two sensory modalities were designed here, which are valuable for the development of ERP-based BCI paradigms.

  1. Seeing emotion with your ears: emotional prosody implicitly guides visual attention to faces.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon Rigoulot

    Full Text Available Interpersonal communication involves the processing of multimodal emotional cues, particularly facial expressions (visual modality and emotional speech prosody (auditory modality which can interact during information processing. Here, we investigated whether the implicit processing of emotional prosody systematically influences gaze behavior to facial expressions of emotion. We analyzed the eye movements of 31 participants as they scanned a visual array of four emotional faces portraying fear, anger, happiness, and neutrality, while listening to an emotionally-inflected pseudo-utterance (Someone migged the pazing uttered in a congruent or incongruent tone. Participants heard the emotional utterance during the first 1250 milliseconds of a five-second visual array and then performed an immediate recall decision about the face they had just seen. The frequency and duration of first saccades and of total looks in three temporal windows ([0-1250 ms], [1250-2500 ms], [2500-5000 ms] were analyzed according to the emotional content of faces and voices. Results showed that participants looked longer and more frequently at faces that matched the prosody in all three time windows (emotion congruency effect, although this effect was often emotion-specific (with greatest effects for fear. Effects of prosody on visual attention to faces persisted over time and could be detected long after the auditory information was no longer present. These data imply that emotional prosody is processed automatically during communication and that these cues play a critical role in how humans respond to related visual cues in the environment, such as facial expressions.

  2. Seeing Emotion with Your Ears: Emotional Prosody Implicitly Guides Visual Attention to Faces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rigoulot, Simon; Pell, Marc D.

    2012-01-01

    Interpersonal communication involves the processing of multimodal emotional cues, particularly facial expressions (visual modality) and emotional speech prosody (auditory modality) which can interact during information processing. Here, we investigated whether the implicit processing of emotional prosody systematically influences gaze behavior to facial expressions of emotion. We analyzed the eye movements of 31 participants as they scanned a visual array of four emotional faces portraying fear, anger, happiness, and neutrality, while listening to an emotionally-inflected pseudo-utterance (Someone migged the pazing) uttered in a congruent or incongruent tone. Participants heard the emotional utterance during the first 1250 milliseconds of a five-second visual array and then performed an immediate recall decision about the face they had just seen. The frequency and duration of first saccades and of total looks in three temporal windows ([0–1250 ms], [1250–2500 ms], [2500–5000 ms]) were analyzed according to the emotional content of faces and voices. Results showed that participants looked longer and more frequently at faces that matched the prosody in all three time windows (emotion congruency effect), although this effect was often emotion-specific (with greatest effects for fear). Effects of prosody on visual attention to faces persisted over time and could be detected long after the auditory information was no longer present. These data imply that emotional prosody is processed automatically during communication and that these cues play a critical role in how humans respond to related visual cues in the environment, such as facial expressions. PMID:22303454

  3. Prey capture behaviour evoked by simple visual stimuli in larval zebrafish

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isaac Henry Bianco

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Understanding how the nervous system recognises salient stimuli in the environ- ment and selects and executes the appropriate behavioural responses is a fundamen- tal question in systems neuroscience. To facilitate the neuroethological study of visually-guided behaviour in larval zebrafish, we developed virtual reality assays in which precisely controlled visual cues can be presented to larvae whilst their behaviour is automatically monitored using machine-vision algorithms. Freely swimming larvae responded to moving stimuli in a size-dependent manner: they directed multiple low amplitude orienting turns (∼ 20◦ towards small moving spots (1◦ but reacted to larger spots (10◦ with high-amplitude aversive turns (∼ 60◦. The tracking of small spots led us to examine how larvae respond to prey during hunting routines. By analysing movie sequences of larvae hunting parame- cia, we discovered that all prey capture routines commence with eye convergence and larvae maintain their eyes in a highly converged position for the duration of the prey-tracking and capture swim phases. We adapted our virtual reality assay to deliver artificial visual cues to partially restrained larvae and found that small moving spots evoked convergent eye movements and J-turns of the tail, which are defining features of natural hunting. We propose that eye convergence represents the engagement of a predatory mode of behaviour in larval fish and serves to increase the region of binocular visual space to enable stereoscopic targeting of prey.

  4. Audiovisual Integration Delayed by Stimulus Onset Asynchrony Between Auditory and Visual Stimuli in Older Adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Yanna; Yang, Weiping; Nakahashi, Kohei; Takahashi, Satoshi; Wu, Jinglong

    2017-02-01

    Although neuronal studies have shown that audiovisual integration is regulated by temporal factors, there is still little knowledge about the impact of temporal factors on audiovisual integration in older adults. To clarify how stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) between auditory and visual stimuli modulates age-related audiovisual integration, 20 younger adults (21-24 years) and 20 older adults (61-80 years) were instructed to perform an auditory or visual stimuli discrimination experiment. The results showed that in younger adults, audiovisual integration was altered from an enhancement (AV, A ± 50 V) to a depression (A ± 150 V). In older adults, the alterative pattern was similar to that for younger adults with the expansion of SOA; however, older adults showed significantly delayed onset for the time-window-of-integration and peak latency in all conditions, which further demonstrated that audiovisual integration was delayed more severely with the expansion of SOA, especially in the peak latency for V-preceded-A conditions in older adults. Our study suggested that audiovisual facilitative integration occurs only within a certain SOA range (e.g., -50 to 50 ms) in both younger and older adults. Moreover, our results confirm that the response for older adults was slowed and provided empirical evidence that integration ability is much more sensitive to the temporal alignment of audiovisual stimuli in older adults.

  5. High-intensity Erotic Visual Stimuli De-activate the Primary Visual Cortex in Women

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huynh, Hieu K.; Beers, Caroline; Willemsen, Antoon; Lont, Erna; Laan, Ellen; Dierckx, Rudi; Jansen, Monique; Sand, Michael; Schultz, Willibrord Weijmar; Holstege, Gert

    Introduction. The primary visual cortex, Brodmann's area (BA 17), plays a vital role in basic survival mechanisms in humans. In most neuro-imaging studies in which the volunteers have to watch pictures or movies, the primary visual cortex is similarly activated independent of the content of the

  6. High-intensity Erotic Visual Stimuli De-activate the Primary Visual Cortex in Women

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huynh, Hieu K.; Beers, Caroline; Willemsen, Antoon; Lont, Erna; Laan, Ellen; Dierckx, Rudi; Jansen, Monique; Sand, Michael; Weijmar Schultz, Willibrord; Holstege, Gert

    2012-01-01

    Introduction. The primary visual cortex, Brodmann's area (BA 17), plays a vital role in basic survival mechanisms in humans. In most neuro-imaging studies in which the volunteers have to watch pictures or movies, the primary visual cortex is similarly activated independent of the content of the

  7. Retinal image quality and visual stimuli processing by simulation of partial eye cataract

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ozolinsh, Maris; Danilenko, Olga; Zavjalova, Varvara

    2016-10-01

    Visual stimuli were demonstrated on a 4.3'' mobile phone screen inside a "Virtual Reality" adapter that allowed separation of the left and right eye visual fields. Contrast of the retina image thus can be controlled by the image on the phone screen and parallel to that at appropriate geometry by the AC voltage applied to scattering PDLC cell inside the adapter. Such optical pathway separation allows to demonstrate to both eyes spatially variant images, that after visual binocular fusion acquire their characteristic indications. As visual stimuli we used grey and different color (two opponent components to vision - red-green in L*a*b* color space) spatially periodical stimuli for left and right eyes; and with spatial content that by addition or subtraction resulted as clockwise or counter clockwise slanted Gabor gratings. We performed computer modeling with numerical addition or subtraction of signals similar to processing in brain via stimuli input decomposition in luminance and color opponency components. It revealed the dependence of the perception psychophysical equilibrium point between clockwise or counter clockwise perception of summation on one eye image contrast and color saturation, and on the strength of the retinal aftereffects. Existence of a psychophysical equilibrium point in perception of summation is only in the presence of a prior adaptation to a slanted periodical grating and at the appropriate slant orientation of adaptation grating and/or at appropriate spatial grating pattern phase according to grating nods. Actual observer perception experiments when one eye images were deteriorated by simulated cataract approved the shift of mentioned psychophysical equilibrium point on the degree of artificial cataract. We analyzed also the mobile devices stimuli emission spectra paying attention to areas sensitive to macula pigments absorption spectral maxima and blue areas where the intense irradiation can cause in abnormalities in periodic melatonin

  8. Colour and luminance contrasts predict the human detection of natural stimuli in complex visual environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Thomas E; Rojas, Bibiana; Mappes, Johanna; Rautiala, Petri; Kemp, Darrell J

    2017-09-01

    Much of what we know about human colour perception has come from psychophysical studies conducted in tightly-controlled laboratory settings. An enduring challenge, however, lies in extrapolating this knowledge to the noisy conditions that characterize our actual visual experience. Here we combine statistical models of visual perception with empirical data to explore how chromatic (hue/saturation) and achromatic (luminant) information underpins the detection and classification of stimuli in a complex forest environment. The data best support a simple linear model of stimulus detection as an additive function of both luminance and saturation contrast. The strength of each predictor is modest yet consistent across gross variation in viewing conditions, which accords with expectation based upon general primate psychophysics. Our findings implicate simple visual cues in the guidance of perception amidst natural noise, and highlight the potential for informing human vision via a fusion between psychophysical modelling and real-world behaviour. © 2017 The Author(s).

  9. Emotion separation is completed early and it depends on visual field presentation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lichan Liu

    Full Text Available It is now apparent that the visual system reacts to stimuli very fast, with many brain areas activated within 100 ms. It is, however, unclear how much detail is extracted about stimulus properties in the early stages of visual processing. Here, using magnetoencephalography we show that the visual system separates different facial expressions of emotion well within 100 ms after image onset, and that this separation is processed differently depending on where in the visual field the stimulus is presented. Seven right-handed males participated in a face affect recognition experiment in which they viewed happy, fearful and neutral faces. Blocks of images were shown either at the center or in one of the four quadrants of the visual field. For centrally presented faces, the emotions were separated fast, first in the right superior temporal sulcus (STS; 35-48 ms, followed by the right amygdala (57-64 ms and medial pre-frontal cortex (83-96 ms. For faces presented in the periphery, the emotions were separated first in the ipsilateral amygdala and contralateral STS. We conclude that amygdala and STS likely play a different role in early visual processing, recruiting distinct neural networks for action: the amygdala alerts sub-cortical centers for appropriate autonomic system response for fight or flight decisions, while the STS facilitates more cognitive appraisal of situations and links appropriate cortical sites together. It is then likely that different problems may arise when either network fails to initiate or function properly.

  10. High-performance execution of psychophysical tasks with complex visual stimuli in MATLAB

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asaad, Wael F.; Santhanam, Navaneethan; McClellan, Steven

    2013-01-01

    Behavioral, psychological, and physiological experiments often require the ability to present sensory stimuli, monitor and record subjects' responses, interface with a wide range of devices, and precisely control the timing of events within a behavioral task. Here, we describe our recent progress developing an accessible and full-featured software system for controlling such studies using the MATLAB environment. Compared with earlier reports on this software, key new features have been implemented to allow the presentation of more complex visual stimuli, increase temporal precision, and enhance user interaction. These features greatly improve the performance of the system and broaden its applicability to a wider range of possible experiments. This report describes these new features and improvements, current limitations, and quantifies the performance of the system in a real-world experimental setting. PMID:23034363

  11. Affective priming of emotional pictures in parafoveal vision: left visual field advantage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calvo, Manuel G; Avero, Pedro

    2008-03-01

    This study investigated whether stimulus affective content can be extracted from visual scenes when these appear in parafoveal locations of the visual field and are foveally masked, and whether there is lateralization involved. Parafoveal prime pleasant or unpleasant scenes were presented for 150 msec 2.5 degrees away from fixation and were followed by a foveal probe scene that was either congruent or incongruent in emotional valence with the prime. Participants responded whether the probe was emotionally positive or negative. Affective priming was demonstrated by shorter response latencies for congruent than for incongruent prime-probe pairs. This effect occurred when the prime was presented in the left visual field at a 300-msec prime-probe stimulus onset asynchrony, even when the prime and the probe were different in physical appearance and semantic category. This result reveals that the affective significance of emotional stimuli can be assessed early through covert attention mechanisms, in the absence of overt eye fixations on the stimuli, and suggests that right-hemisphere dominance is involved.

  12. High-intensity erotic visual stimuli de-activate the primary visual cortex in women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huynh, Hieu K; Beers, Caroline; Willemsen, Antoon; Lont, Erna; Laan, Ellen; Dierckx, Rudi; Jansen, Monique; Sand, Michael; Weijmar Schultz, Willibrord; Holstege, Gert

    2012-06-01

    The primary visual cortex, Brodmann's area (BA 17), plays a vital role in basic survival mechanisms in humans. In most neuro-imaging studies in which the volunteers have to watch pictures or movies, the primary visual cortex is similarly activated independent of the content of the pictures or movies. However, in case the volunteers perform demanding non-visual tasks, the primary visual cortex becomes de-activated, although the amount of incoming visual sensory information is the same. Do low- and high-intensity erotic movies, compared to neutral movies, produce similar de-activation of the primary visual cortex? Brain activation/de-activation was studied by Positron Emission Tomography scanning of the brains of 12 healthy heterosexual premenopausal women, aged 18-47, who watched neutral, low- and high-intensity erotic film segments. We measured differences in regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) in the primary visual cortex during watching neutral, low-intensity erotic, and high-intensity erotic film segments. Watching high-intensity erotic, but not low-intensity erotic movies, compared to neutral movies resulted in strong de-activation of the primary (BA 17) and adjoining parts of the secondary visual cortex. The strong de-activation during watching high-intensity erotic film might represent compensation for the increased blood supply in the brain regions involved in sexual arousal, also because high-intensity erotic movies do not require precise scanning of the visual field, because the impact is clear to the observer. © 2012 International Society for Sexual Medicine.

  13. Neurophysiological evidence (ERPs) for hemispheric processing of facial expressions of emotions: Evidence from whole face and chimeric face stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Damaskinou, Nikoleta; Watling, Dawn

    2018-05-01

    This study was designed to investigate the patterns of electrophysiological responses of early emotional processing at frontocentral sites in adults and to explore whether adults' activation patterns show hemispheric lateralization for facial emotion processing. Thirty-five adults viewed full face and chimeric face stimuli. After viewing two faces, sequentially, participants were asked to decide which of the two faces was more emotive. The findings from the standard faces and the chimeric faces suggest that emotion processing is present during the early phases of face processing in the frontocentral sites. In particular, sad emotional faces are processed differently than neutral and happy (including happy chimeras) faces in these early phases of processing. Further, there were differences in the electrode amplitudes over the left and right hemisphere, particularly in the early temporal window. This research provides supporting evidence that the chimeric face test is a test of emotion processing that elicits right hemispheric processing.

  14. Only "efficient" emotional stimuli affect the content of working memory during free-recollection from natural scenes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buttafuoco, Arianna; Pedale, Tiziana; Buchanan, Tony W; Santangelo, Valerio

    2018-02-01

    Emotional events are thought to have privileged access to attention and memory, consuming resources needed to encode competing emotionally neutral stimuli. However, it is not clear whether this detrimental effect is automatic or depends on the successful maintenance of the specific emotional object within working memory. Here, participants viewed everyday scenes including an emotional object among other neutral objects followed by a free-recollection task. Results showed that emotional objects-irrespective of their perceptual saliency-were recollected more often than neutral objects. The probability of being recollected increased as a function of the arousal of the emotional objects, specifically for negative objects. Successful recollection of emotional objects (positive or negative) from a scene reduced the overall number of recollected neutral objects from the same scene. This indicates that only emotional stimuli that are efficient in grabbing (and then consuming) available attentional resources play a crucial role during the encoding of competing information, with a subsequent bias in the recollection of neutral representations.

  15. Normal Threshold Size of Stimuli in Children Using a Game-Based Visual Field Test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yanfang; Ali, Zaria; Subramani, Siddharth; Biswas, Susmito; Fenerty, Cecilia; Henson, David B; Aslam, Tariq

    2017-06-01

    The aim of this study was to demonstrate and explore the ability of novel game-based perimetry to establish normal visual field thresholds in children. One hundred and eighteen children (aged 8.0 ± 2.8 years old) with no history of visual field loss or significant medical history were recruited. Each child had one eye tested using a game-based visual field test 'Caspar's Castle' at four retinal locations 12.7° (N = 118) from fixation. Thresholds were established repeatedly using up/down staircase algorithms with stimuli of varying diameter (luminance 20 cd/m 2 , duration 200 ms, background luminance 10 cd/m 2 ). Relationships between threshold and age were determined along with measures of intra- and intersubject variability. The Game-based visual field test was able to establish threshold estimates in the full range of children tested. Threshold size reduced with increasing age in children. Intrasubject variability and intersubject variability were inversely related to age in children. Normal visual field thresholds were established for specific locations in children using a novel game-based visual field test. These could be used as a foundation for developing a game-based perimetry screening test for children.

  16. Central and Divided Visual Field Presentation of Emotional Images to Measure Hemispheric Differences in Motivated Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Hare, Aminda J; Atchley, Ruth Ann; Young, Keith M

    2017-11-16

    Two dominant theories on lateralized processing of emotional information exist in the literature. One theory posits that unpleasant emotions are processed by right frontal regions, while pleasant emotions are processed by left frontal regions. The other theory posits that the right hemisphere is more specialized for the processing of emotional information overall, particularly in posterior regions. Assessing the different roles of the cerebral hemispheres in processing emotional information can be difficult without the use of neuroimaging methodologies, which are not accessible or affordable to all scientists. Divided visual field presentation of stimuli can allow for the investigation of lateralized processing of information without the use of neuroimaging technology. This study compared central versus divided visual field presentations of emotional images to assess differences in motivated attention between the two hemispheres. The late positive potential (LPP) was recorded using electroencephalography (EEG) and event-related potentials (ERPs) methodologies to assess motivated attention. Future work will pair this paradigm with a more active behavioral task to explore the behavioral impacts on the attentional differences found.

  17. Do episodic migraineurs selectively attend to headache-related visual stimuli?

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDermott, Michael J; Peck, Kelly R; Walters, A Brooke; Smitherman, Todd A

    2013-02-01

    To assess pain-related attentional biases among individuals with episodic migraine. Prior studies have examined whether chronic pain patients selectively attend to pain-related stimuli in the environment, but these studies have produced largely mixed findings and focused primarily on patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain. Limited research has implicated attentional biases among chronic headache patients, but no studies have been conducted among episodic migraineurs, who comprise the overwhelming majority of the migraine population. This was a case-control, experimental study. Three hundred and eight participants (mean age = 19.2 years [standard deviation = 3.3]; 69.5% female; 36.4% minority), consisting of 84 episodic migraineurs, diagnosed in accordance with International Classification of Headache Disorders (2(nd) edition) criteria using a structured diagnostic interview, and 224 non-migraine controls completed a computerized dot probe task to assess attentional bias toward headache-related pictorial stimuli. The task consisted of 192 trials and utilized 2 emotional-neutral stimulus pairing conditions (headache-neutral and happy-neutral). No within-group differences for reaction time latencies to headache vs happy conditions were found among those with episodic migraine or among the non-migraine controls. Migraine status was unrelated to attentional bias indices for both headache (F [1,306] = 0.56, P = .45) and happy facial stimuli (F [1,306] = 0.37, P = .54), indicating a lack of between-group differences. Lack of within- and between-group differences was confirmed with repeated measures analysis of variance. In light of the large sample size and prior pilot testing of presented images, results suggest that episodic migraineurs do not differentially attend to headache-related facial stimuli. Given modest evidence of attentional biases among chronic headache samples, these findings suggest potential differences in attentional

  18. Visual Afterimages of Emotional Faces in High Functioning Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rutherford, M. D.; Troubridge, Erin K.; Walsh, Jennifer

    2012-01-01

    Fixating an emotional facial expression can create afterimages, such that subsequent faces are seen as having the opposite expression of that fixated. Visual afterimages have been used to map the relationships among emotion categories, and this method was used here to compare ASD and matched control participants. Participants adapted to a facial…

  19. Effects of intranasal oxytocin on the attentional bias to emotional stimuli in patients with bulimia nervosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Youl-Ri; Eom, Jin-Sup; Leppanen, Jenni; Leslie, Monica; Treasure, Janet

    2018-05-01

    Bulimia nervosa (BN) is characterized by binge eating and emotional dysregulation including increased negative affectivity (anger, anxiety). The aim of this study was to examine the effect of oxytocin on attentional processes towards anger in patients with BN. The study design consisted of a double-blind, placebo-controlled within-subject crossover, single dose experiment. Sixty-four women (31 patients with BN and 33 healthy comparisons) completed self-reported measures to evaluate emotional difficulties and were administered a single dose of intranasal oxytocin (40IU) or placebo followed by a visual probe detection task to examine attentional orienting to angry or happy faces. Patients with BN reported higher emotional dysregulation and more difficulties in controlling anger compared to the healthy comparison group. Patients with BN and the healthy women exhibited similar attentional bias to angry faces in the placebo condition. Intranasal oxytocin reduced the attentional bias towards angry faces in both the BN patients and the healthy women. We found that a single dose of oxytocin reduced vigilance towards angry faces in patients with BN as well as healthy women. The results showed that patients with BN are not different from healthy women in terms of vigilance towards threat. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Effects of emotional stimuli on working memory processes in male criminal offenders with borderline and antisocial personality disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prehn, Kristin; Schulze, Lars; Rossmann, Sabine; Berger, Christoph; Vohs, Knut; Fleischer, Monika; Hauenstein, Karlheinz; Keiper, Peter; Domes, Gregor; Herpertz, Sabine C

    2013-02-01

    OBJECTIVE. In the present study, we aimed to investigate the influence of concurrently presented emotional stimuli on cognitive task processing in violent criminal offenders primarily characterized by affective instability. METHODS. Fifteen male criminal offenders with antisocial and borderline personality disorder (ASPD and BPD) and 17 healthy controls underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while performing a working memory task with low and high working memory load. In a second experimental run, to investigate the interaction of emotion and cognition, we presented emotionally neutral, low, or high salient social scenes in the background of the task. RESULTS. During the memory task without pictures, both groups did not differ in general task performance and neural representation of working memory processes. During the memory task with emotional background pictures, however, ASPD-BPD subjects compared to healthy controls showed delayed responses and enhanced activation of the left amygdala in the presence of emotionally high salient pictures independent of working memory load. CONCLUSIONS. These results illustrate an interaction of emotion and cognition in affective instable individuals with enhanced reactivity to emotionally salient stimuli which might be an important factor regarding the understanding of aggressive and violent behaviour in these individuals.

  1. LEMtool - Measuring emotions in visual interfaces

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huisman, Gijs; van Hout, M; van Dijk, Elisabeth M.A.G.; van der Geest, Thea; Heylen, Dirk K.J.

    In this paper the development process and validation of the LEMtool (Layered Emotion Measurement tool) are described. The LEMtool consists of eight images that display a cartoon figure expressing four positive and four negative emotions using facial expressions and body postures. The instrument can

  2. Determination of hemispheric language dominance using functional MRI : comparison of visual and auditory stimuli

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yoo, Ic Ryung; Ahn, Kook Jin; Lee, Jae Mun [The Catholic Univ. of Korea, Seoul (Korea, Republic of); Kim, Tae [The Catholic Magnetic Resonance Research Center, Seoul (Korea, Republic of)

    1999-12-01

    To assess the difference between auditory and visual stimuli when determining hemispheric language dominance by using functional MRI. In ten healthy adult volunteers (8 right-handed, 1 left-handed, 1 ambidextrous), motor language activation in axial slices of frontal lobe was mapped on a Simens 1.5T Vision Plus system using single-shot EPI. Series of 120 consecutive images per section were acquired during three cycles of task activation and rest. During each activation, a series of four syllables was delivered by means of both a visual and auditory method, and the volunteers were asked to mentally generate words starting with each syllable. In both in ferior frontal gyri and whole frontal lobes, lateralization indices were calculated from the activated pixels. We determined the language dominant hemisphere, and compared the results of the visual method and the auditory method. Seven right-handed persons were left-hemisphere dominant, and one left-handed and one ambidex-trous person were right-hemisphere dominant. Five of nine persons demonstrated larger lateralization indices with the auditory method than the visual method, while the remaining four showed larger lateralization indices with the visual method. No statistically significant difference was noted when comparing the results of the two methods(p>0.05). When determining hemispheric language dominance using functional MRI, the two methods are equally appropriate.

  3. Determination of hemispheric language dominance using functional MRI : comparison of visual and auditory stimuli

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yoo, Ic Ryung; Ahn, Kook Jin; Lee, Jae Mun; Kim, Tae

    1999-01-01

    To assess the difference between auditory and visual stimuli when determining hemispheric language dominance by using functional MRI. In ten healthy adult volunteers (8 right-handed, 1 left-handed, 1 ambidextrous), motor language activation in axial slices of frontal lobe was mapped on a Simens 1.5T Vision Plus system using single-shot EPI. Series of 120 consecutive images per section were acquired during three cycles of task activation and rest. During each activation, a series of four syllables was delivered by means of both a visual and auditory method, and the volunteers were asked to mentally generate words starting with each syllable. In both in ferior frontal gyri and whole frontal lobes, lateralization indices were calculated from the activated pixels. We determined the language dominant hemisphere, and compared the results of the visual method and the auditory method. Seven right-handed persons were left-hemisphere dominant, and one left-handed and one ambidex-trous person were right-hemisphere dominant. Five of nine persons demonstrated larger lateralization indices with the auditory method than the visual method, while the remaining four showed larger lateralization indices with the visual method. No statistically significant difference was noted when comparing the results of the two methods(p>0.05). When determining hemispheric language dominance using functional MRI, the two methods are equally appropriate

  4. Recognition of visual stimuli and memory for spatial context in schizophrenic patients and healthy volunteers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brébion, Gildas; David, Anthony S; Pilowsky, Lyn S; Jones, Hugh

    2004-11-01

    Verbal and visual recognition tasks were administered to 40 patients with schizophrenia and 40 healthy comparison subjects. The verbal recognition task consisted of discriminating between 16 target words and 16 new words. The visual recognition task consisted of discriminating between 16 target pictures (8 black-and-white and 8 color) and 16 new pictures (8 black-and-white and 8 color). Visual recognition was followed by a spatial context discrimination task in which subjects were required to remember the spatial location of the target pictures at encoding. Results showed that recognition deficit in patients was similar for verbal and visual material. In both schizophrenic and healthy groups, men, but not women, obtained better recognition scores for the colored than for the black-and-white pictures. However, men and women similarly benefited from color to reduce spatial context discrimination errors. Patients showed a significant deficit in remembering the spatial location of the pictures, independently of accuracy in remembering the pictures themselves. These data suggest that patients are impaired in the amount of visual information that they can encode. With regards to the perceptual attributes of the stimuli, memory for spatial information appears to be affected, but not processing of color information.

  5. Heart rate reactivity associated to positive and negative food and non-food visual stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuoppa, Pekka; Tarvainen, Mika P; Karhunen, Leila; Narvainen, Johanna

    2016-08-01

    Using food as a stimuli is known to cause multiple psychophysiological reactions. Heart rate variability (HRV) is common tool for assessing physiological reactions in autonomic nervous system. However, the findings in HRV related to food stimuli have not been consistent. In this paper the quick changes in HRV related to positive and negative food and non-food visual stimuli are investigated. Electrocardiogram (ECG) was measured from 18 healthy females while being stimulated with the pictures. Subjects also filled Three-Factor Eating Questionnaire to determine their eating behavior. The inter-beat-interval time series and the HRV parameters were extracted from the ECG. The quick change in HRV parameters were studied by calculating the change from baseline value (10 s window before stimulus) to value after the onset of the stimulus (10 s window during stimulus). The paired t-test showed significant difference between positive and negative food pictures but not between positive and negative non-food pictures. All the HRV parameters decreased for positive food pictures while they stayed the same or increased a little for negative food pictures. The eating behavior characteristic cognitive restraint was negatively correlated with HRV parameters that describe decreasing of heart rate.

  6. Event-related potential response to auditory social stimuli, parent-reported social communicative deficits and autism risk in school-aged children with congenital visual impairment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joe Bathelt

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Communication with visual signals, like facial expression, is important in early social development, but the question if these signals are necessary for typical social development remains to be addressed. The potential impact on social development of being born with no or very low levels of vision is therefore of high theoretical and clinical interest. The current study investigated event-related potential responses to basic social stimuli in a rare group of school-aged children with congenital visual disorders of the anterior visual system (globe of the eye, retina, anterior optic nerve. Early-latency event-related potential responses showed no difference between the VI and control group, suggesting similar initial auditory processing. However, the mean amplitude over central and right frontal channels between 280 and 320 ms was reduced in response to own-name stimuli, but not control stimuli, in children with VI suggesting differences in social processing. Children with VI also showed an increased rate of autistic-related behaviours, pragmatic language deficits, as well as peer relationship and emotional problems on standard parent questionnaires. These findings suggest that vision may be necessary for the typical development of social processing across modalities.

  7. Event-related potential response to auditory social stimuli, parent-reported social communicative deficits and autism risk in school-aged children with congenital visual impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bathelt, Joe; Dale, Naomi; de Haan, Michelle

    2017-10-01

    Communication with visual signals, like facial expression, is important in early social development, but the question if these signals are necessary for typical social development remains to be addressed. The potential impact on social development of being born with no or very low levels of vision is therefore of high theoretical and clinical interest. The current study investigated event-related potential responses to basic social stimuli in a rare group of school-aged children with congenital visual disorders of the anterior visual system (globe of the eye, retina, anterior optic nerve). Early-latency event-related potential responses showed no difference between the VI and control group, suggesting similar initial auditory processing. However, the mean amplitude over central and right frontal channels between 280 and 320ms was reduced in response to own-name stimuli, but not control stimuli, in children with VI suggesting differences in social processing. Children with VI also showed an increased rate of autistic-related behaviours, pragmatic language deficits, as well as peer relationship and emotional problems on standard parent questionnaires. These findings suggest that vision may be necessary for the typical development of social processing across modalities. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  8. Brain reactivity to visual food stimuli after moderate-intensity exercise in children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masterson, Travis D; Kirwan, C Brock; Davidson, Lance E; Larson, Michael J; Keller, Kathleen L; Fearnbach, S Nicole; Evans, Alyssa; LeCheminant, James D

    2017-09-19

    Exercise may play a role in moderating eating behaviors. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of an acute bout of exercise on neural responses to visual food stimuli in children ages 8-11 years. We hypothesized that acute exercise would result in reduced activity in reward areas of the brain. Using a randomized cross-over design, 26 healthy weight children completed two separate laboratory conditions (exercise; sedentary). During the exercise condition, each participant completed a 30-min bout of exercise at moderate-intensity (~ 67% HR maximum) on a motor-driven treadmill. During the sedentary session, participants sat continuously for 30 min. Neural responses to high- and low-calorie pictures of food were determined immediately following each condition using functional magnetic resonance imaging. There was a significant exercise condition*stimulus-type (high- vs. low-calorie pictures) interaction in the left hippocampus and right medial temporal lobe (p visual food stimuli differently following an acute bout of exercise compared to a non-exercise sedentary session in 8-11 year-old children. Specifically, an acute bout of exercise results in greater activation to high-calorie and reduced activation to low-calorie pictures of food in both the left hippocampus and right medial temporal lobe. This study shows that response to external food cues can be altered by exercise and understanding this mechanism will inform the development of future interventions aimed at altering energy intake in children.

  9. Numerosity estimation in visual stimuli in the absence of luminance-based cues.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Kramer

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Numerosity estimation is a basic preverbal ability that humans share with many animal species and that is believed to be foundational of numeracy skills. It is notoriously difficult, however, to establish whether numerosity estimation is based on numerosity itself, or on one or more non-numerical cues like-in visual stimuli-spatial extent and density. Frequently, different non-numerical cues are held constant on different trials. This strategy, however, still allows numerosity estimation to be based on a combination of non-numerical cues rather than on any particular one by itself.Here we introduce a novel method, based on second-order (contrast-based visual motion, to create stimuli that exclude all first-order (luminance-based cues to numerosity. We show that numerosities can be estimated almost as well in second-order motion as in first-order motion.The results show that numerosity estimation need not be based on first-order spatial filtering, first-order density perception, or any other processing of luminance-based cues to numerosity. Our method can be used as an effective tool to control non-numerical variables in studies of numerosity estimation.

  10. The influence of emotional priming on the neural substrates of memory: a prospective fMRI study using portrait art stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baeken, Chris; De Raedt, Rudi; Van Schuerbeek, Peter; De Mey, Johan; Bossuyt, Axel; Luypaert, Robert

    2012-07-16

    Events coupled with an emotional context seem to be better retained than non-emotional events. The aim of our study was to investigate whether an emotional context could influence the neural substrates of memory associations with novel portrait art stimuli. In the current prospective fMRI study, we have investigated for one specific visual art form (modern artistic portraits with a high degree of abstraction) whether memory is influenced by priming with emotional facial pictures. In total forty healthy female volunteers in the same age range were recruited for the study. Twenty of these women participated in a prospective brain imaging memory paradigm and were asked to memorize a series of similar looking, but different portraits. After randomization, for twelve participants (Group 1), a third of the portraits was emotionally primed with approach-related pictures (smiling baby faces), a third with withdrawal-related pictures (baby faces with severe dermatological conditions), and another third with neutral images. Group 2 consisted of eight participants and they were not primed. Then, during an fMRI session 2h later, these portraits were viewed in random order intermixed with a set of new (previously unseen) ones, and the participants had to decide for each portrait whether or not they had already been seen. In a separate experiment, a different sample of twenty healthy females (Group 3) rated their mood after being exposed to the same art stimuli, without priming. The portraits did not evoke significant mood changes by themselves, supporting their initial neutral emotional character (Group 3). The correct decision on whether the portraits were Familiar of Unfamiliar led to similar neuronal activations in brain areas implicated in visual and attention processing for both groups (Groups 1 and 2). In contrast, whereas primed participants showed significant higher neuronal activities in the left midline superior frontal cortex (Brodmann area (BA) 6), unprimed

  11. Disentangling brain activity related to the processing of emotional visual information and emotional arousal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuniecki, Michał; Wołoszyn, Kinga; Domagalik, Aleksandra; Pilarczyk, Joanna

    2018-05-01

    Processing of emotional visual information engages cognitive functions and induces arousal. We aimed to examine the modulatory role of emotional valence on brain activations linked to the processing of visual information and those linked to arousal. Participants were scanned and their pupil size was measured while viewing negative and neutral images. The visual noise was added to the images in various proportions to parametrically manipulate the amount of visual information. Pupil size was used as an index of physiological arousal. We show that arousal induced by the negative images, as compared to the neutral ones, is primarily related to greater amygdala activity while increasing visibility of negative content to enhanced activity in the lateral occipital complex (LOC). We argue that more intense visual processing of negative scenes can occur irrespective of the level of arousal. It may suggest that higher areas of the visual stream are fine-tuned to process emotionally relevant objects. Both arousal and processing of emotional visual information modulated activity within the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC). Overlapping activations within the vmPFC may reflect the integration of these aspects of emotional processing. Additionally, we show that emotionally-evoked pupil dilations are related to activations in the amygdala, vmPFC, and LOC.

  12. Conflict adaptation and congruency sequence effects to social-emotional stimuli in individuals with autism spectrum disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Worsham, Whitney; Gray, Whitney E; Larson, Michael J; South, Mikle

    2015-11-01

    The modification of performance following conflict can be measured using conflict adaptation tasks thought to measure the change in the allocation of cognitive resources in order to reduce conflict interference and improve performance. While previous studies have suggested atypical processing during nonsocial cognitive control tasks, conflict adaptation (i.e. congruency sequence effects) for social-emotional stimuli have not been previously studied in autism spectrum disorder. A total of 32 participants diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and 27 typically developing matched controls completed an emotional Stroop conflict task that required the classification of facial affect while simultaneously ignoring an overlaid affective word. Both groups showed behavioral evidence for emotional conflict adaptation based on response times and accuracy rates. However, the autism spectrum disorder group demonstrated a speed-accuracy trade-off manifested through significantly faster response times and decreased accuracy rates on trials containing conflict between the emotional face and the overlaid emotional word. Reduced selective attention toward socially relevant information may bias individuals with autism spectrum disorder toward more rapid processing and decision making even when conflict is present. Nonetheless, the loss of important information from the social stimuli reduces decision-making accuracy, negatively affecting the ability to adapt both cognitively and emotionally when conflict arises. © The Author(s) 2014.

  13. Visual sensitivity for luminance and chromatic stimuli during the execution of smooth pursuit and saccadic eye movements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braun, Doris I; Schütz, Alexander C; Gegenfurtner, Karl R

    2017-07-01

    Visual sensitivity is dynamically modulated by eye movements. During saccadic eye movements, sensitivity is reduced selectively for low-spatial frequency luminance stimuli and largely unaffected for high-spatial frequency luminance and chromatic stimuli (Nature 371 (1994), 511-513). During smooth pursuit eye movements, sensitivity for low-spatial frequency luminance stimuli is moderately reduced while sensitivity for chromatic and high-spatial frequency luminance stimuli is even increased (Nature Neuroscience, 11 (2008), 1211-1216). Since these effects are at least partly of different polarity, we investigated the combined effects of saccades and smooth pursuit on visual sensitivity. For the time course of chromatic sensitivity, we found that detection rates increased slightly around pursuit onset. During saccades to static and moving targets, detection rates dropped briefly before the saccade and reached a minimum at saccade onset. This reduction of chromatic sensitivity was present whenever a saccade was executed and it was not modified by subsequent pursuit. We also measured contrast sensitivity for flashed high- and low-spatial frequency luminance and chromatic stimuli during saccades and pursuit. During saccades, the reduction of contrast sensitivity was strongest for low-spatial frequency luminance stimuli (about 90%). However, a significant reduction was also present for chromatic stimuli (about 58%). Chromatic sensitivity was increased during smooth pursuit (about 12%). These results suggest that the modulation of visual sensitivity during saccades and smooth pursuit is more complex than previously assumed. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Emotions and personality traits as high-level factors in visual attention: a review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kai eKaspar

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available The visual sense has outstanding significance for human perception and behavior, and visual attention plays a central role in the processing of the sensory input. Thereby, multiple low- and high-level factors contribute to the guidance of attention. The present review focuses on two neglected high-level factors: emotion and personality. The review starts with an overview of different models of attention, providing a conceptual framework and illustrating the nature of low- and high-level factors in visual attention. Then, the ambiguous concept of emotion is described, and recommendations are made for the experimental practice. In the following, we present several studies showing the influence of emotion on overt attention, whereby the distinction between internally and externally located emotional impacts is emphasized. We also provide evidence showing that emotional stimuli influence perceptual processing outside of the focus of attention, whereby results in this field are mixed. Then, we present some detached studies showing the reversed causal effect: attention can also affect emotional responses. The final section on emotion–attention interactions addresses the interplay on the neuronal level, which has been neglected for a long time in neuroscience. In this context, several conceptual recommendations for future research are made. Finally, based on findings showing inter-individual differences in human sensitivity to emotional items, we introduce the wide range of time-independent personality traits that also influence attention, and in this context we try to raise awareness of the consideration of inter-individual differences in the field of neuroscience.

  15. The Effect of Visual Stimuli on Stability and Complexity of Postural Control

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haizhen Luo

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Visual input could benefit balance control or increase postural sway, and it is far from fully understanding the effect of visual stimuli on postural stability and its underlying mechanism. In this study, the effect of different visual inputs on stability and complexity of postural control was examined by analyzing the mean velocity (MV, SD, and fuzzy approximate entropy (fApEn of the center of pressure (COP signal during quiet upright standing. We designed five visual exposure conditions: eyes-closed, eyes-open (EO, and three virtual reality (VR scenes (VR1–VR3. The VR scenes were a limited field view of an optokinetic drum rotating around yaw (VR1, pitch (VR2, and roll (VR3 axes, respectively. Sixteen healthy subjects were involved in the experiment, and their COP trajectories were assessed from the force plate data. MV, SD, and fApEn of the COP in anterior–posterior (AP, medial–lateral (ML directions were calculated. Two-way analysis of variance with repeated measures was conducted to test the statistical significance. We found that all the three parameters obtained the lowest values in the EO condition, and highest in the VR3 condition. We also found that the active neuromuscular intervention, indicated by fApEn, in response to changing the visual exposure conditions were more adaptive in AP direction, and the stability, indicated by SD, in ML direction reflected the changes of visual scenes. MV was found to capture both instability and active neuromuscular control dynamics. It seemed that the three parameters provided compensatory information about the postural control in the immersive virtual environment.

  16. Negative emotion boosts quality of visual working memory representation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Weizhen; Zhang, Weiwei

    2016-08-01

    Negative emotion impacts a variety of cognitive processes, including working memory (WM). The present study investigated whether negative emotion modulated WM capacity (quantity) or resolution (quality), 2 independent limits on WM storage. In Experiment 1, observers tried to remember several colors over 1-s delay and then recalled the color of a randomly picked memory item by clicking a best-matching color on a continuous color wheel. On each trial, before the visual WM task, 1 of 3 emotion conditions (negative, neutral, or positive) was induced by having observers to rate the valence of an International Affective Picture System image. Visual WM under negative emotion showed enhanced resolution compared with neutral and positive conditions, whereas the number of retained representations was comparable across the 3 emotion conditions. These effects were generalized to closed-contour shapes in Experiment 2. To isolate the locus of these effects, Experiment 3 adopted an iconic memory version of the color recall task by eliminating the 1-s retention interval. No significant change in the quantity or quality of iconic memory was observed, suggesting that the resolution effects in the first 2 experiments were critically dependent on the need to retain memory representations over a short period of time. Taken together, these results suggest that negative emotion selectively boosts visual WM quality, supporting the dissociable nature quantitative and qualitative aspects of visual WM representation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  17. Recognition of emotion in hemifaces presented to the left and right visual fields.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wedding, D; Cyrus, P

    1986-09-01

    Thirty-two right-handed subjects (16 males and 16 females) participated in a choice reaction time experiment replicating two previous studies which demonstrated the superiority of the left hemisphere in rapidly identifying facial emotion as either positive or negative. Slides of hemifaces split along the vertical axis, showing either positive (happiness, surprise) or negative (anger, disgust, or sadness) affect were presented tachistoscopically to either the left or right visual field. A 2 X 2 X 2 mixed ANOVA revealed main effects for visual field and type of affect. In contrast to earlier studies which presented full face stimuli, presentation of hemifaces produced a strong left visual field advantage and, as expected, positive faces produced faster reaction times than negative faces.

  18. Color impact in visual attention deployment considering emotional images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chamaret, C.

    2012-03-01

    Color is a predominant factor in the human visual attention system. Even if it cannot be sufficient to the global or complete understanding of a scene, it may impact the visual attention deployment. We propose to study the color impact as well as the emotion aspect of pictures regarding the visual attention deployment. An eye-tracking campaign has been conducted involving twenty people watching half pictures of database in full color and the other half of database in grey color. The eye fixations of color and black and white images were highly correlated leading to the question of the integration of such cues in the design of visual attention model. Indeed, the prediction of two state-of-the-art computational models shows similar results for the two color categories. Similarly, the study of saccade amplitude and fixation duration versus time viewing did not bring any significant differences between the two mentioned categories. In addition, spatial coordinates of eye fixations reveal an interesting indicator for investigating the differences of visual attention deployment over time and fixation number. The second factor related to emotion categories shows evidences of emotional inter-categories differences between color and grey eye fixations for passive and positive emotion. The particular aspect associated to this category induces a specific behavior, rather based on high frequencies, where the color components influence the visual attention deployment.

  19. Olfactory cues are subordinate to visual stimuli in a neotropical generalist weevil.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernando Otálora-Luna

    Full Text Available The tropical root weevil Diaprepes abbreviatus is a major pest of multiple crops in the Caribbean Islands and has become a serious constraint to citrus production in the United States. Recent work has identified host and conspecific volatiles that mediate host- and mate-finding by D. abbreviatus. The interaction of light, color, and odors has not been studied in this species. The responses of male and female D. abbreviatus to narrow bandwidths of visible light emitted by LEDs offered alone and in combination with olfactory stimuli were studied in a specially-designed multiple choice arena combined with a locomotion compensator. Weevils were more attracted to wavelengths close to green and yellow compared with blue or ultraviolet, but preferred red and darkness over green. Additionally, dim green light was preferred over brighter green. Adult weevils were also attracted to the odor of its citrus host + conspecifics. However, the attractiveness of citrus + conspecific odors disappeared in the presence of a green light. Photic stimulation induced males but not females to increase their speed. In the presence of light emitted by LEDs, turning speed decreased and path straightness increased, indicating that weevils tended to walk less tortuously. Diaprepes abbreviatus showed a hierarchy between chemo- and photo-taxis in the series of experiments presented herein, where the presence of the green light abolished upwind anemotaxis elicited by the pheromone + host plant odor. Insight into the strong responses to visual stimuli of chemically stimulated insects may be provided when the amount of information supplied by vision and olfaction is compared, as the information transmission capacity of compound eyes is estimated to be several orders of magnitude higher compared with the olfactory system. Subordination of olfactory responses by photic stimuli should be considered in the design of strategies aimed at management of such insects.

  20. The processing of auditory and visual recognition of self-stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Susan M; Nicholson, Shevon E

    2010-12-01

    This study examined self-recognition processing in both the auditory and visual modalities by determining how comparable hearing a recording of one's own voice was to seeing photograph of one's own face. We also investigated whether the simultaneous presentation of auditory and visual self-stimuli would either facilitate or inhibit self-identification. Ninety-one participants completed reaction-time tasks of self-recognition when presented with their own faces, own voices, and combinations of the two. Reaction time and errors made when responding with both the right and left hand were recorded to determine if there were lateralization effects on these tasks. Our findings showed that visual self-recognition for facial photographs appears to be superior to auditory self-recognition for voice recordings. Furthermore, a combined presentation of one's own face and voice appeared to inhibit rather than facilitate self-recognition and there was a left-hand advantage for reaction time on the combined-presentation tasks. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Cortical response tracking the conscious experience of threshold duration visual stimuli indicates visual perception is all or none

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sekar, Krithiga; Findley, William M.; Poeppel, David; Llinás, Rodolfo R.

    2013-01-01

    At perceptual threshold, some stimuli are available for conscious access whereas others are not. Such threshold inputs are useful tools for investigating the events that separate conscious awareness from unconscious stimulus processing. Here, viewing unmasked, threshold-duration images was combined with recording magnetoencephalography to quantify differences among perceptual states, ranging from no awareness to ambiguity to robust perception. A four-choice scale was used to assess awareness: “didn’t see” (no awareness), “couldn’t identify” (awareness without identification), “unsure” (awareness with low certainty identification), and “sure” (awareness with high certainty identification). Stimulus-evoked neuromagnetic signals were grouped according to behavioral response choices. Three main cortical responses were elicited. The earliest response, peaking at ∼100 ms after stimulus presentation, showed no significant correlation with stimulus perception. A late response (∼290 ms) showed moderate correlation with stimulus awareness but could not adequately differentiate conscious access from its absence. By contrast, an intermediate response peaking at ∼240 ms was observed only for trials in which stimuli were consciously detected. That this signal was similar for all conditions in which awareness was reported is consistent with the hypothesis that conscious visual access is relatively sharply demarcated. PMID:23509248

  2. Effects of visual working memory on brain information processing of irrelevant auditory stimuli.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiagui Qu

    Full Text Available Selective attention has traditionally been viewed as a sensory processing modulator that promotes cognitive processing efficiency by favoring relevant stimuli while inhibiting irrelevant stimuli. However, the cross-modal processing of irrelevant information during working memory (WM has been rarely investigated. In this study, the modulation of irrelevant auditory information by the brain during a visual WM task was investigated. The N100 auditory evoked potential (N100-AEP following an auditory click was used to evaluate the selective attention to auditory stimulus during WM processing and at rest. N100-AEP amplitudes were found to be significantly affected in the left-prefrontal, mid-prefrontal, right-prefrontal, left-frontal, and mid-frontal regions while performing a high WM load task. In contrast, no significant differences were found between N100-AEP amplitudes in WM states and rest states under a low WM load task in all recorded brain regions. Furthermore, no differences were found between the time latencies of N100-AEP troughs in WM states and rest states while performing either the high or low WM load task. These findings suggested that the prefrontal cortex (PFC may integrate information from different sensory channels to protect perceptual integrity during cognitive processing.

  3. Effects of visual working memory on brain information processing of irrelevant auditory stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qu, Jiagui; Rizak, Joshua D; Zhao, Lun; Li, Minghong; Ma, Yuanye

    2014-01-01

    Selective attention has traditionally been viewed as a sensory processing modulator that promotes cognitive processing efficiency by favoring relevant stimuli while inhibiting irrelevant stimuli. However, the cross-modal processing of irrelevant information during working memory (WM) has been rarely investigated. In this study, the modulation of irrelevant auditory information by the brain during a visual WM task was investigated. The N100 auditory evoked potential (N100-AEP) following an auditory click was used to evaluate the selective attention to auditory stimulus during WM processing and at rest. N100-AEP amplitudes were found to be significantly affected in the left-prefrontal, mid-prefrontal, right-prefrontal, left-frontal, and mid-frontal regions while performing a high WM load task. In contrast, no significant differences were found between N100-AEP amplitudes in WM states and rest states under a low WM load task in all recorded brain regions. Furthermore, no differences were found between the time latencies of N100-AEP troughs in WM states and rest states while performing either the high or low WM load task. These findings suggested that the prefrontal cortex (PFC) may integrate information from different sensory channels to protect perceptual integrity during cognitive processing.

  4. Emotional stimuli-provoked seizures potentially misdiagnosed as psychogenic non-epileptic attacks: A case of temporal lobe epilepsy with amygdala enlargement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hidetaka Tamune

    Full Text Available The association between emotional stimuli and temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE is largely unknown. Here, we report the case of a depressed, 50-year-old female complaining of episodes of a “spaced out” experience precipitated by emotional stimuli. Psychogenic non-epileptic attacks were suspected. However, video-EEG coupled with emotional stimuli-provoked procedures and MRI findings of amygdala enlargement, led to the diagnosis of left TLE. Accurate diagnosis and explanation improved her subjective depression and seizure frequency. This case demonstrated that emotional stimuli can provoke seizures in TLE and suggested the involvement of the enlarged amygdala and the modulation of emotion-related neural circuits. Keywords: Video-EEG, Psychogenic non-epileptic attacks, Temporal lobe epilepsy, Amygdala enlargement, Reflex seizure, Provoked seizure

  5. A crossmodal crossover: opposite effects of visual and auditory perceptual load on steady-state evoked potentials to irrelevant visual stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacoby, Oscar; Hall, Sarah E; Mattingley, Jason B

    2012-07-16

    Mechanisms of attention are required to prioritise goal-relevant sensory events under conditions of stimulus competition. According to the perceptual load model of attention, the extent to which task-irrelevant inputs are processed is determined by the relative demands of discriminating the target: the more perceptually demanding the target task, the less unattended stimuli will be processed. Although much evidence supports the perceptual load model for competing stimuli within a single sensory modality, the effects of perceptual load in one modality on distractor processing in another is less clear. Here we used steady-state evoked potentials (SSEPs) to measure neural responses to irrelevant visual checkerboard stimuli while participants performed either a visual or auditory task that varied in perceptual load. Consistent with perceptual load theory, increasing visual task load suppressed SSEPs to the ignored visual checkerboards. In contrast, increasing auditory task load enhanced SSEPs to the ignored visual checkerboards. This enhanced neural response to irrelevant visual stimuli under auditory load suggests that exhausting capacity within one modality selectively compromises inhibitory processes required for filtering stimuli in another. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Covariation assessment for neutral and emotional verbal stimuli in paranoid delusions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díez-Alegría, Cristina; Vázquez, Carmelo; Hernández-Lloreda, María J

    2008-11-01

    Selective processing of emotion-relevant information is considered a central feature in various types of psychopathology, yet the mechanisms underlying these biases are not well understood. One of the first steps in processing information is to gather data to judge the covariation or association of events. The aim of this study was to explore whether patients with persecutory delusions would show a covariation bias when processing stimuli related to social threat. We assessed estimations of covariation in-patients with current persecutory (CP) beliefs (N=40), patients with past persecutory (PP) beliefs (N=25), and a non-clinical control (NC) group (N=36). Covariation estimations were assessed under three different experimental conditions. The first two conditions focused on neutral behaviours (Condition 1) and psychological traits (Condition 2) for two distant cultural groups, while the third condition included self-relevant material by exposing the participant to either protective social (positive) or threatening social (negative) statements about the participant or a third person. Our results showed that all participants were precise in their covariation estimations. However, when judging covariation for self-relevant sentences related to social statements (Condition 3), all groups showed a significant tendency to associate positive social interaction (protection themed) sentences to the self. Yet, when using sentences related to social-threat, the CP group showed a bias consisting of overestimating the number of self-referent sentences. Our results showed that there was no specific covariation assessment bias related to paranoid beliefs. Both NCs and participants with persecutory beliefs showed a similar pattern of results when processing neutral or social threat-related sentences. The implications for understanding of the role of self-referent information processing biases in delusion formation are discussed.

  7. Stress Effects on Working Memory, Explicit Memory, and Implicit Memory for Neutral and Emotional Stimuli in Healthy Men

    OpenAIRE

    Luethi, Mathias; Meier, Beat; Sandi, Carmen

    2009-01-01

    Stress is a strong modulator of memory function. However, memory is not a unitary process and stress seems to exert different effects depending on the memory type under study. Here, we explored the impact of social stress on different aspects of human memory, including tests for explicit memory and working memory (for neutral materials), as well as implicit memory (perceptual priming, contextual priming and classical conditioning for emotional stimuli). A total of 35 young adult...

  8. Freezing Behavior as a Response to Sexual Visual Stimuli as Demonstrated by Posturography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mouras, Harold; Lelard, Thierry; Ahmaidi, Said; Godefroy, Olivier; Krystkowiak, Pierre

    2015-01-01

    Posturographic changes in motivational conditions remain largely unexplored in the context of embodied cognition. Over the last decade, sexual motivation has been used as a good canonical working model to study motivated social interactions. The objective of this study was to explore posturographic variations in response to visual sexual videos as compared to neutral videos. Our results support demonstration of a freezing-type response in response to sexually explicit stimuli compared to other conditions, as demonstrated by significantly decreased standard deviations for (i) the center of pressure displacement along the mediolateral and anteroposterior axes and (ii) center of pressure’s displacement surface. These results support the complexity of the motor correlates of sexual motivation considered to be a canonical functional context to study the motor correlates of motivated social interactions. PMID:25992571

  9. Comparison of the influence of stimuli color on Steady-State Visual Evoked Potentials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard Junior Manuel Godinez Tello

    Full Text Available IntroductionThe main idea of a traditional Steady State Visually Evoked Potentials (SSVEP-BCI is the activation of commands through gaze control. For this purpose, the retina of the eye is excited by a stimulus at a certain frequency. Several studies have shown effects related to different kind of stimuli, frequencies, window lengths, techniques of feature extraction and even classification. So far, none of the previous studies has performed a comparison of performance of stimuli colors through LED technology. This study addresses precisely this important aspect and would be a great contribution to the topic of SSVEP-BCIs. Additionally, the performance of different colors at different frequencies and the visual comfort were evaluated in each case.MethodsLEDs of four different colors (red, green, blue and yellow flickering at four distinct frequencies (8, 11, 13 and 15 Hz were used. Twenty subjects were distributed in two groups performing different protocols. Multivariate Synchronization Index (MSI was the technique adopted as feature extractor.ResultsThe accuracy was gradually enhanced with the increase of the time window. From our observations, the red color provides, in most frequencies, both highest rates of accuracy and Information Transfer Rate (ITR for detection of SSVEP.ConclusionAlthough the red color has presented higher ITR, this color was turned in the less comfortable one and can even elicit epileptic responses according to the literature. For this reason, the green color is suggested as the best choice according to the proposed rules. In addition, this color has shown to be safe and accurate for an SSVEP-BCI.

  10. A solution for measuring accurate reaction time to visual stimuli realized with a programmable microcontroller.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohyanagi, Toshio; Sengoku, Yasuhito

    2010-02-01

    This article presents a new solution for measuring accurate reaction time (SMART) to visual stimuli. The SMART is a USB device realized with a Cypress Programmable System-on-Chip (PSoC) mixed-signal array programmable microcontroller. A brief overview of the hardware and firmware of the PSoC is provided, together with the results of three experiments. In Experiment 1, we investigated the timing accuracy of the SMART in measuring reaction time (RT) under different conditions of operating systems (OSs; Windows XP or Vista) and monitor displays (a CRT or an LCD). The results indicated that the timing error in measuring RT by the SMART was less than 2 msec, on average, under all combinations of OS and display and that the SMART was tolerant to jitter and noise. In Experiment 2, we tested the SMART with 8 participants. The results indicated that there was no significant difference among RTs obtained with the SMART under the different conditions of OS and display. In Experiment 3, we used Microsoft (MS) PowerPoint to present visual stimuli on the display. We found no significant difference in RTs obtained using MS DirectX technology versus using the PowerPoint file with the SMART. We are certain that the SMART is a simple and practical solution for measuring RTs accurately. Although there are some restrictions in using the SMART with RT paradigms, the SMART is capable of providing both researchers and health professionals working in clinical settings with new ways of using RT paradigms in their work.

  11. Sex differences in interactions between nucleus accumbens and visual cortex by explicit visual erotic stimuli: an fMRI study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, S W; Jeong, B S; Choi, J; Kim, J-W

    2015-01-01

    Men tend to have greater positive responses than women to explicit visual erotic stimuli (EVES). However, it remains unclear, which brain network makes men more sensitive to EVES and which factors contribute to the brain network activity. In this study, we aimed to assess the effect of sex difference on brain connectivity patterns by EVES. We also investigated the association of testosterone with brain connection that showed the effects of sex difference. During functional magnetic resonance imaging scans, 14 males and 14 females were asked to see alternating blocks of pictures that were either erotic or non-erotic. Psychophysiological interaction analysis was performed to investigate the functional connectivity of the nucleus accumbens (NA) as it related to EVES. Men showed significantly greater EVES-specific functional connection between the right NA and the right lateral occipital cortex (LOC). In addition, the right NA and the right LOC network activity was positively correlated with the plasma testosterone level in men. Our results suggest that the reason men are sensitive to EVES is the increased interaction in the visual reward networks, which is modulated by their plasma testosterone level.

  12. Reproducibility assessment of brain responses to visual food stimuli in adults with overweight and obesity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drew Sayer, R; Tamer, Gregory G; Chen, Ningning; Tregellas, Jason R; Cornier, Marc-Andre; Kareken, David A; Talavage, Thomas M; McCrory, Megan A; Campbell, Wayne W

    2016-10-01

    The brain's reward system influences ingestive behavior and subsequently obesity risk. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is a common method for investigating brain reward function. This study sought to assess the reproducibility of fasting-state brain responses to visual food stimuli using BOLD fMRI. A priori brain regions of interest included bilateral insula, amygdala, orbitofrontal cortex, caudate, and putamen. Fasting-state fMRI and appetite assessments were completed by 28 women (n = 16) and men (n = 12) with overweight or obesity on 2 days. Reproducibility was assessed by comparing mean fasting-state brain responses and measuring test-retest reliability of these responses on the two testing days. Mean fasting-state brain responses on day 2 were reduced compared with day 1 in the left insula and right amygdala, but mean day 1 and day 2 responses were not different in the other regions of interest. With the exception of the left orbitofrontal cortex response (fair reliability), test-retest reliabilities of brain responses were poor or unreliable. fMRI-measured responses to visual food cues in adults with overweight or obesity show relatively good mean-level reproducibility but considerable within-subject variability. Poor test-retest reliability reduces the likelihood of observing true correlations and increases the necessary sample sizes for studies. © 2016 The Obesity Society.

  13. fMRI activities in the emotional cerebellum: a preference for negative stimuli and goal-directed behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schraa-Tam, Caroline K L; Rietdijk, Willem J R; Verbeke, Willem J M I; Dietvorst, Roeland C; van den Berg, Wouter E; Bagozzi, Richard P; De Zeeuw, Chris I

    2012-03-01

    Several studies indicate that the cerebellum might play a role in experiencing and/or controlling emphatic emotions, but it remains to be determined whether there is a distinction between positive and negative emotions, and, if so, which specific parts of the cerebellum are involved in these types of emotions. Here, we visualized activations of the cerebellum and extracerebellar regions using high-field fMRI, while we asked participants to observe and imitate images with pictures of human faces expressing different emotional states or with moving geometric shapes as control. The state of the emotions could be positive (happiness and surprise), negative (anger and disgust), or neutral. The positive emotional faces only evoked mild activations of crus 2 in the cerebellum, whereas the negative emotional faces evoked prominent activations in lobules VI and VIIa in its hemispheres and lobules VIII and IX in the vermis. The cerebellar activations associated with negative emotions occurred concomitantly with activations of mirror neuron domains such as the insula and amygdala. These data suggest that the potential role of the cerebellum in control of emotions may be particularly relevant for goal-directed behavior that is required for observing and reacting to another person's (negative) expressions.

  14. Visual cortex and auditory cortex activation in early binocularly blind macaques: A BOLD-fMRI study using auditory stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Rong; Wu, Lingjie; Tang, Zuohua; Sun, Xinghuai; Feng, Xiaoyuan; Tang, Weijun; Qian, Wen; Wang, Jie; Jin, Lixin; Zhong, Yufeng; Xiao, Zebin

    2017-04-15

    Cross-modal plasticity within the visual and auditory cortices of early binocularly blind macaques is not well studied. In this study, four healthy neonatal macaques were assigned to group A (control group) or group B (binocularly blind group). Sixteen months later, blood oxygenation level-dependent functional imaging (BOLD-fMRI) was conducted to examine the activation in the visual and auditory cortices of each macaque while being tested using pure tones as auditory stimuli. The changes in the BOLD response in the visual and auditory cortices of all macaques were compared with immunofluorescence staining findings. Compared with group A, greater BOLD activity was observed in the bilateral visual cortices of group B, and this effect was particularly obvious in the right visual cortex. In addition, more activated volumes were found in the bilateral auditory cortices of group B than of group A, especially in the right auditory cortex. These findings were consistent with the fact that there were more c-Fos-positive cells in the bilateral visual and auditory cortices of group B compared with group A (p visual cortices of binocularly blind macaques can be reorganized to process auditory stimuli after visual deprivation, and this effect is more obvious in the right than the left visual cortex. These results indicate the establishment of cross-modal plasticity within the visual and auditory cortices. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Emotion processing in the visual brain: a MEG analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peyk, Peter; Schupp, Harald T; Elbert, Thomas; Junghöfer, Markus

    2008-06-01

    Recent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and event-related brain potential (ERP) studies provide empirical support for the notion that emotional cues guide selective attention. Extending this line of research, whole head magneto-encephalogram (MEG) was measured while participants viewed in separate experimental blocks a continuous stream of either pleasant and neutral or unpleasant and neutral pictures, presented for 330 ms each. Event-related magnetic fields (ERF) were analyzed after intersubject sensor coregistration, complemented by minimum norm estimates (MNE) to explore neural generator sources. Both streams of analysis converge by demonstrating the selective emotion processing in an early (120-170 ms) and a late time interval (220-310 ms). ERF analysis revealed that the polarity of the emotion difference fields was reversed across early and late intervals suggesting distinct patterns of activation in the visual processing stream. Source analysis revealed the amplified processing of emotional pictures in visual processing areas with more pronounced occipito-parieto-temporal activation in the early time interval, and a stronger engagement of more anterior, temporal, regions in the later interval. Confirming previous ERP studies showing facilitated emotion processing, the present data suggest that MEG provides a complementary look at the spread of activation in the visual processing stream.

  16. Effects of worry on physiological and subjective reactivity to emotional stimuli in generalized anxiety disorder and nonanxious control participants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Llera, Sandra J; Newman, Michelle G

    2010-10-01

    The present study examined the effect of worry versus relaxation and neutral thought activity on both physiological and subjective responding to positive and negative emotional stimuli. Thirty-eight participants with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and 35 nonanxious control participants were randomly assigned to engage in worry, relaxation, or neutral inductions prior to sequential exposure to each of four emotion-inducing film clips. The clips were designed to elicit fear, sadness, happiness, and calm emotions. Self reported negative and positive affect was assessed following each induction and exposure, and vagal activity was measured throughout. Results indicate that worry (vs. relaxation) led to reduced vagal tone for the GAD group, as well as higher negative affect levels for both groups. Additionally, prior worry resulted in less physiological and subjective responding to the fearful film clip, and reduced negative affect in response to the sad clip. This suggests that worry may facilitate avoidance of processing negative emotions by way of preventing a negative emotional contrast. Implications for the role of worry in emotion avoidance are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved).

  17. Emotion-prints: interaction-driven emotion visualization on multi-touch interfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cernea, Daniel; Weber, Christopher; Ebert, Achim; Kerren, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    Emotions are one of the unique aspects of human nature, and sadly at the same time one of the elements that our technological world is failing to capture and consider due to their subtlety and inherent complexity. But with the current dawn of new technologies that enable the interpretation of emotional states based on techniques involving facial expressions, speech and intonation, electrodermal response (EDS) and brain-computer interfaces (BCIs), we are finally able to access real-time user emotions in various system interfaces. In this paper we introduce emotion-prints, an approach for visualizing user emotional valence and arousal in the context of multi-touch systems. Our goal is to offer a standardized technique for representing user affective states in the moment when and at the location where the interaction occurs in order to increase affective self-awareness, support awareness in collaborative and competitive scenarios, and offer a framework for aiding the evaluation of touch applications through emotion visualization. We show that emotion-prints are not only independent of the shape of the graphical objects on the touch display, but also that they can be applied regardless of the acquisition technique used for detecting and interpreting user emotions. Moreover, our representation can encode any affective information that can be decomposed or reduced to Russell's two-dimensional space of valence and arousal. Our approach is enforced by a BCI-based user study and a follow-up discussion of advantages and limitations.

  18. Divided attention enhances the recognition of emotional stimuli: evidence from the attentional boost effect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossi-Arnaud, Clelia; Spataro, Pietro; Costanzi, Marco; Saraulli, Daniele; Cestari, Vincenzo

    2018-01-01

    The present study examined predictions of the early-phase-elevated-attention hypothesis of the attentional boost effect (ABE), which suggests that transient increases in attention at encoding, as instantiated in the ABE paradigm, should enhance the recognition of neutral and positive items (whose encoding is mostly based on controlled processes), while having small or null effects on the recognition of negative items (whose encoding is primarily based on automatic processes). Participants were presented a sequence of negative, neutral and positive stimuli (pictures in Experiment 1, words in Experiment 2) associated to target (red) squares, distractor (green) squares or no squares (baseline condition). They were told to attend to the pictures/words and simultaneously press the spacebar of the computer when a red square appeared. In a later recognition task, stimuli associated to target squares were recognised better than stimuli associated to distractor squares, replicating the standard ABE. More importantly, we also found that: (a) the memory enhancement following target detection occurred with all types of stimuli (neutral, negative and positive) and (b) the advantage of negative stimuli over neutral stimuli was intact in the DA condition. These findings suggest that the encoding of negative stimuli depends on both controlled (attention-dependent) and automatic (attention-independent) processes.

  19. Individual differences in heart rate variability predict the degree of slowing during response inhibition and initiation in the presence of emotional stimuli.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angelos-Miltiadis eKrypotos

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Response inhibition is a hallmark of executive control and crucial to support flexible behaviour in a constantly changing environment. Recently, it has been shown that response inhibition is influenced by the presentation of emotional stimuli (Verbruggen and De Houwer, 2007. Healthy individuals typically differ in the degree to which they are able to regulate their emotional state, but it remains unknown whether individual differences in emotion regulation (ER may alter the interplay between emotion and response inhibition. Here we address this issue by testing healthy volunteers who were equally divided in groups with high and low Heart Rate Variability (HRV during rest, a physiological measure that serves as proxy of emotion regulation. Both groups performed an emotional stop-signal task, in which negative high arousing pictures served as negative emotional stimuli and neutral low arousing pictures served as neutral non-emotional stimuli. We found that individuals with high HRV activated and inhibited their responses faster compared to individuals with low HRV, but only in the presence of negative stimuli. No group differences emerged for the neutral stimuli. Thus, individuals with low HRV are more susceptible to the adverse effects of negative emotion on response initiation and inhibition. The present research corroborates the idea that the presentation of emotional stimuli may interfere with inhibition and it also adds to previous research by demonstrating that the aforementioned relationship varies for individuals differing in HRV. We suggest that focusing on individual differences in HRV and its associative ER may shed more light on the dynamic interplay between emotion and cognition.

  20. Testing a Poisson Counter Model for Visual Identification of Briefly Presented, Mutually Confusable Single Stimuli in Pure Accuracy Tasks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kyllingsbaek, Soren; Markussen, Bo; Bundesen, Claus

    2012-01-01

    The authors propose and test a simple model of the time course of visual identification of briefly presented, mutually confusable single stimuli in pure accuracy tasks. The model implies that during stimulus analysis, tentative categorizations that stimulus i belongs to category j are made at a constant Poisson rate, v(i, j). The analysis is…

  1. Auditory Preferences of Young Children with and without Hearing Loss for Meaningful Auditory-Visual Compound Stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zupan, Barbra; Sussman, Joan E.

    2009-01-01

    Experiment 1 examined modality preferences in children and adults with normal hearing to combined auditory-visual stimuli. Experiment 2 compared modality preferences in children using cochlear implants participating in an auditory emphasized therapy approach to the children with normal hearing from Experiment 1. A second objective in both…

  2. Visual Sexual Stimuli-Cue or Reward? A Perspective for Interpreting Brain Imaging Findings on Human Sexual Behaviors

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gola, M.; Wordecha, M.; Marchewka, A.; Sescousse, G.T.

    2016-01-01

    There is an increasing number of neuroimaging studies using visual sexual stimuli (VSS), especially within the emerging field of research on compulsive sexual behaviors (CSB). A central question in this field is whether behaviors such as excessive pornography consumption share common brain

  3. Time- and Space-Order Effects in Timed Discrimination of Brightness and Size of Paired Visual Stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patching, Geoffrey R.; Englund, Mats P.; Hellstrom, Ake

    2012-01-01

    Despite the importance of both response probability and response time for testing models of choice, there is a dearth of chronometric studies examining systematic asymmetries that occur over time- and space-orders in the method of paired comparisons. In this study, systematic asymmetries in discriminating the magnitude of paired visual stimuli are…

  4. Brain Activation by Visual Food-Related Stimuli and Correlations with Metabolic and Hormonal Parameters: A fMRI Study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jakobsdottir, S.; de Ruiter, M.B.; Deijen, J.B.; Veltman, D.J.; Drent, M.L.

    2012-01-01

    Regional brain activity in 15 healthy, normal weight males during processing of visual food stimuli in a satiated and a hungry state was examined and correlated with neuroendocrine factors known to be involved in hunger and satiated states. Two functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) sessions

  5. Benefits of using culturally unfamiliar stimuli in ambiguous emotion identification: A cross-cultural study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koelkebeck, Katja; Kohl, Waldemar; Luettgenau, Julia; Triantafillou, Susanna; Ohrmann, Patricia; Satoh, Shinji; Minoshita, Seiko

    2015-07-30

    A novel emotion recognition task that employs photos of a Japanese mask representing a highly ambiguous stimulus was evaluated. As non-Asians perceive and/or label emotions differently from Asians, we aimed to identify patterns of task-performance in non-Asian healthy volunteers with a view to future patient studies. The Noh mask test was presented to 42 adult German participants. Reaction times and emotion attribution patterns were recorded. To control for emotion identification abilities, a standard emotion recognition task was used among others. Questionnaires assessed personality traits. Finally, results were compared to age- and gender-matched Japanese volunteers. Compared to other tasks, German participants displayed slowest reaction times on the Noh mask test, indicating higher demands of ambiguous emotion recognition. They assigned more positive emotions to the mask than Japanese volunteers, demonstrating culture-dependent emotion identification patterns. As alexithymic and anxious traits were associated with slower reaction times, personality dimensions impacted on performance, as well. We showed an advantage of ambiguous over conventional emotion recognition tasks. Moreover, we determined emotion identification patterns in Western individuals impacted by personality dimensions, suggesting performance differences in clinical samples. Due to its properties, the Noh mask test represents a promising tool in the differential diagnosis of psychiatric disorders, e.g. schizophrenia. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Cognitive reserve and emotional stimuli in older individuals: level of education moderates the age-related positivity effect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruno, Davide; Brown, Adam D; Kapucu, Aycan; Marmar, Charles R; Pomara, Nunzio

    2014-01-01

    BACKGROUND/STUDY CONTEXT: A frequently observed age-related effect is a preference in older individuals for positive stimuli. The cognitive control model proposes that this positivity effect may be mediated by executive functions. We propose that cognitive reserve, operationally defined as years of education, which tempers cognitive decline and has been linked to executive functions, should also influence the age-related positivity effect, especially as age advances. An emotional free recall test was administered to a group of 84 cognitively intact individuals aged 60 to 88, who varied in years of education. As part of a larger test battery, data were obtained on measures of executive functioning and depression. Multiple regression and moderation analyses were performed, controlling for general cognitive function, severity of depressive symptoms, and executive function. In our data, years of education appeared to moderate the effect of age on the positivity effect; age was negatively associated with recall of positive words in participants with fewer years of education, whereas a nonsignificant positive correlation was observed between age and positivity in participants with more education. Cognitive reserve appears to play a role in explaining individual differences in the positivity effect in healthy older individuals. Future studies should investigate whether cognitive reserve is also implicated in the ability to process a wide range of emotional stimuli and whether greater reserve is reflected in improved emotional regulation.

  7. Brain activation to negative stimuli mediates a relationship between adolescent marijuana use and later emotional functioning

    OpenAIRE

    Heitzeg, Mary M.; Cope, Lora M.; Martz, Meghan E.; Hardee, Jillian E.; Zucker, Robert A.

    2015-01-01

    This work investigated the impact of heavy marijuana use during adolescence on emotional functioning, as well as the brain functional mediators of this effect. Participants (n = 40) were recruited from the Michigan Longitudinal Study (MLS). Data on marijuana use were collected prospectively beginning in childhood as part of the MLS. Participants were classified as heavy marijuana users (n = 20) or controls with minimal marijuana use. Two facets of emotional functioning—negative emotionality a...

  8. Emotion and anxiety potentiate the way attention alters visual appearance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbot, Antoine; Carrasco, Marisa

    2018-04-12

    The ability to swiftly detect and prioritize the processing of relevant information around us is critical for the way we interact with our environment. Selective attention is a key mechanism that serves this purpose, improving performance in numerous visual tasks. Reflexively attending to sudden information helps detect impeding threat or danger, a possible reason why emotion modulates the way selective attention affects perception. For instance, the sudden appearance of a fearful face potentiates the effects of exogenous (involuntary, stimulus-driven) attention on performance. Internal states such as trait anxiety can also modulate the impact of attention on early visual processing. However, attention does not only improve performance; it also alters the way visual information appears to us, e.g. by enhancing perceived contrast. Here we show that emotion potentiates the effects of exogenous attention on both performance and perceived contrast. Moreover, we found that trait anxiety mediates these effects, with stronger influences of attention and emotion in anxious observers. Finally, changes in performance and appearance correlated with each other, likely reflecting common attentional modulations. Altogether, our findings show that emotion and anxiety interact with selective attention to truly alter how we see.

  9. Emotional facial expression detection in the peripheral visual field.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dimitri J Bayle

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: In everyday life, signals of danger, such as aversive facial expressions, usually appear in the peripheral visual field. Although facial expression processing in central vision has been extensively studied, this processing in peripheral vision has been poorly studied. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using behavioral measures, we explored the human ability to detect fear and disgust vs. neutral expressions and compared it to the ability to discriminate between genders at eccentricities up to 40°. Responses were faster for the detection of emotion compared to gender. Emotion was detected from fearful faces up to 40° of eccentricity. CONCLUSIONS: Our results demonstrate the human ability to detect facial expressions presented in the far periphery up to 40° of eccentricity. The increasing advantage of emotion compared to gender processing with increasing eccentricity might reflect a major implication of the magnocellular visual pathway in facial expression processing. This advantage may suggest that emotion detection, relative to gender identification, is less impacted by visual acuity and within-face crowding in the periphery. These results are consistent with specific and automatic processing of danger-related information, which may drive attention to those messages and allow for a fast behavioral reaction.

  10. Intraindividual variability in vigilance performance: does degrading visual stimuli mimic age-related "neural noise"?

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacDonald, Stuart W S; Hultsch, David F; Bunce, David

    2006-07-01

    Intraindividual performance variability, or inconsistency, has been shown to predict neurological status, physiological functioning, and age differences and declines in cognition. However, potential moderating factors of inconsistency are not well understood. The present investigation examined whether inconsistency in vigilance response latencies varied as a function of time-on-task and task demands by degrading visual stimuli in three separate conditions (10%, 20%, and 30%). Participants were 24 younger women aged 21 to 30 years (M = 24.04, SD = 2.51) and 23 older women aged 61 to 83 years (M = 68.70, SD = 6.38). A measure of within-person inconsistency, the intraindividual standard deviation (ISD), was computed for each individual across reaction time (RT) trials (3 blocks of 45 event trials) for each condition of the vigilance task. Greater inconsistency was observed with increasing stimulus degradation and age, even after controlling for group differences in mean RTs and physical condition. Further, older adults were more inconsistent than younger adults for similar degradation conditions, with ISD scores for younger adults in the 30% condition approximating estimates observed for older adults in the 10% condition. Finally, a measure of perceptual sensitivity shared increasing negative associations with ISDs, with this association further modulated as a function of age but to a lesser degree by degradation condition. Results support current hypotheses suggesting that inconsistency serves as a marker of neurological integrity and are discussed in terms of potential underlying mechanisms.

  11. Real time unsupervised learning of visual stimuli in neuromorphic VLSI systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giulioni, Massimiliano; Corradi, Federico; Dante, Vittorio; Del Giudice, Paolo

    2015-10-01

    Neuromorphic chips embody computational principles operating in the nervous system, into microelectronic devices. In this domain it is important to identify computational primitives that theory and experiments suggest as generic and reusable cognitive elements. One such element is provided by attractor dynamics in recurrent networks. Point attractors are equilibrium states of the dynamics (up to fluctuations), determined by the synaptic structure of the network; a ‘basin’ of attraction comprises all initial states leading to a given attractor upon relaxation, hence making attractor dynamics suitable to implement robust associative memory. The initial network state is dictated by the stimulus, and relaxation to the attractor state implements the retrieval of the corresponding memorized prototypical pattern. In a previous work we demonstrated that a neuromorphic recurrent network of spiking neurons and suitably chosen, fixed synapses supports attractor dynamics. Here we focus on learning: activating on-chip synaptic plasticity and using a theory-driven strategy for choosing network parameters, we show that autonomous learning, following repeated presentation of simple visual stimuli, shapes a synaptic connectivity supporting stimulus-selective attractors. Associative memory develops on chip as the result of the coupled stimulus-driven neural activity and ensuing synaptic dynamics, with no artificial separation between learning and retrieval phases.

  12. Enhanced ERPs to visual stimuli in unaffected male siblings of ASD children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anzures, Gizelle; Goyet, Louise; Ganea, Natasa; Johnson, Mark H

    2016-01-01

    Autism spectrum disorders are characterized by deficits in social and communication abilities. While unaffected relatives lack severe deficits, milder impairments have been reported in some first-degree relatives. The present study sought to verify whether mild deficits in face perception are evident among the unaffected younger siblings of children with ASD. Children between 6-9 years of age completed a face-recognition task and a passive viewing ERP task with face and house stimuli. Sixteen children were typically developing with no family history of ASD, and 17 were unaffected children with an older sibling with ASD. Findings indicate that, while unaffected siblings are comparable to controls in their face-recognition abilities, unaffected male siblings in particular show relatively enhanced P100 and P100-N170 peak-to-peak amplitude responses to faces and houses. Enhanced ERPs among unaffected male siblings is discussed in relation to potential differences in neural network recruitment during visual and face processing.

  13. The interplay between the anticipation and subsequent online processing of emotional stimuli as measured by pupillary dilatation: the role of cognitive reappraisal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanderhasselt, Marie-Anne; Remue, Jonathan; Ng, Kwun Kei; De Raedt, Rudi

    2014-01-01

    Emotions can occur during an emotion-eliciting event, but they can also arise when anticipating the event. We used pupillary responses, as a measure of effortful cognitive processing, to test whether the anticipation of an emotional stimulus (positive and negative) influences the subsequent online processing of that emotional stimulus. Moreover, we tested whether individual differences in the habitual use of emotion regulation strategies are associated with pupillary responses during the anticipation and/or online processing of this emotional stimulus. Our results show that, both for positive and negative stimuli, pupillary diameter during the anticipation of emotion-eliciting events is inversely and strongly correlated to pupillary responses during the emotional image presentation. The variance in this temporal interplay between anticipation and online processing was related to individual differences in emotion regulation. Specifically, the results show that high reappraisal scores are related to larger pupil diameter during the anticipation which is related to smaller pupillary responses during the online processing of emotion-eliciting events. The habitual use of expressive suppression was not associated to pupillary responses in the anticipation and subsequent online processing of emotional stimuli. Taken together, the current data suggest (most strongly for individuals scoring high on the habitual use of reappraisal) that larger pupillary responses during the anticipation of an emotional stimulus are indicative of a sustained attentional set activation to prepare for an upcoming emotional stimulus, which subsequently directs a reduced need to cognitively process that emotional event. Hence, because the habitual use of reappraisal is known to have a positive influence on emotional well-being, the interplay between anticipation and online processing of emotional stimuli might be a significant marker of this well-being.

  14. The interplay between the anticipation and subsequent online processing of emotional stimuli as measured by pupillary dilatation: the role of cognitive reappraisal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marie-Anne eVanderhasselt

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Emotions can occur during an emotion-eliciting event, but they can also arise when anticipating the event. We used pupillary responses, as a measure of effortful cognitive processing, to test whether the anticipation of an emotional stimulus (positive and negative influences the subsequent online processing of that emotional stimulus. Moreover, we tested whether individual differences in the habitual use of emotion regulation strategies are associated with pupillary responses during the anticipation and/or online processing of this emotional stimulus. Our results show that, both for positive and negative stimuli, pupillary diameter during the anticipation of emotion-eliciting events is inversely and strongly correlated to pupillary responses during the emotional image presentation. The variance in this temporal interplay between anticipation and online processing was related to individual differences in emotion regulation. Specifically, the results show that high reappraisal scores are related to larger pupil diameter during the anticipation and subsequent smaller pupillary responses during the online processing of emotion-eliciting events. The habitual use of expressive suppression was not associated to pupillary responses in the anticipation and subsequent online processing of emotional stimuli. All together, the current data suggest (most strongly for individuals scoring high on the habitual use of reappraisal that larger pupillary responses during the anticipation of an emotional stimulus are indicative of a sustained attentional set activation to prepare for an upcoming emotional stimulus, which subsequently directs a reduced need to cognitively process that emotional event. Because the habitual use of reappraisal is known to have a positive influence on emotional well-being, the interplay between anticipation and online processing of emotional stimuli might be a significant marker of this well-being.

  15. Evidence of an IFN-γ by early life stress interaction in the regulation of amygdala reactivity to emotional stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Redlich, Ronny; Stacey, David; Opel, Nils; Grotegerd, Dominik; Dohm, Katharina; Kugel, Harald; Heindel, Walter; Arolt, Volker; Baune, Bernhard T; Dannlowski, Udo

    2015-12-01

    Since numerous studies have found that exposure to early life stress leads to increased peripheral inflammation and psychiatric disease, it is thought that peripheral immune activation precedes and possibly mediates the onset of stress-associated psychiatric disease. Despite early studies, IFNγ has received little attention relative to other inflammatory cytokines in the context of the pathophysiology of affective disorders. Neuroimaging endophenotypes have emerged recently as a promising means of elucidating these types of complex relationships including the modeling of the interaction between environmental factors and genetic predisposition. Here we investigate the GxE relationship between early-life stress and genetic variants of IFNγ on emotion processing. To investigate the impact of the relationship between genetic variants of IFNγ (rs1861494, rs2069718, rs2430561) and early life stress on emotion processing, a sample of healthy adults (n=409) undergoing an emotional faces paradigm in an fMRI study were genotyped and analysed. Information on early life stress was obtained via Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ). A positive association between early life stress and amygdala reactivity was found. Specifically, the main effect of genotype of rs1861494 on amygdala reactivity indicates a higher neural response in C allele carriers compared to T homozygotes, while we did not find main effects of rs2069718 and rs2430561. Importantly, interaction analyses revealed a specific interaction between IFNγ genotype (rs1861494) and early life stress affecting amygdala reactivity to emotional faces, resulting from a positive association between CTQ scores and amygdala reactivity in C allele carriers while this association was absent in T homozygotes. Our findings indicate that firstly the genetic variant of IFNγ (rs1861494) is involved with the regulation of amygdala reactivity to emotional stimuli and secondly, that this genetic variant moderates effects of early life

  16. Visual sexual stimuli – cue or reward? A key for interpreting brain imaging studies on human sexual behaviors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mateusz Gola

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available There is an increasing number of neuroimaging studies using visual sexual stimuli (VSS for human sexuality studies, including emerging field of research on compulsive sexual behaviors. A central question in this field is whether behaviors such as extensive pornography consumption share common brain mechanisms with widely studied substance and behavioral addictions. Depending on how VSS are conceptualized, different predictions can be formulated within the frameworks of Reinforcement Learning or Incentive Salience Theory, where a crucial distinction is made between conditioned (cue and unconditioned (reward stimuli (related to reward anticipation vs reward consumption, respectively. Surveying 40 recent human neuroimaging studies we show existing ambiguity about the conceptualization of VSS. Therefore, we feel that it is important to address the question of whether VSS should be considered as cues (conditioned stimuli or rewards (unconditioned stimuli. Here we present our own perspective, which is that in most laboratory settings VSS play a role of reward (unconditioned stimuli, as evidenced by: 1. experience of pleasure while watching VSS, possibly accompanied by genital reaction 2. reward-related brain activity correlated with these pleasurable feelings in response to VSS, 3. a willingness to exert effort to view VSS similarly as for other rewarding stimuli such as money, and/or 4. conditioning for cues (CS predictive for. We hope that this perspective paper will initiate a scientific discussion on this important and overlooked topic and increase attention for appropriate interpretations of results of human neuroimaging studies using VSS.

  17. Hydrocortisone Infusion Exerts Dose- and Sex-Dependent Effects on Attention to Emotional Stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breitberg, Alaina; Drevets, Wayne C.; Wood, Suzanne E.; Mah, Linda; Schulkin, Jay; Sahakian, Barbara J.; Erickson, Kristine

    2013-01-01

    Glucocorticoid administration has been shown to exert complex effects on cognitive and emotional processing. In the current study we investigated the effects of glucocorticoid administration on attention towards emotional words, using an Affective Go/No-go task on which healthy humans have shown an attentional bias towards positive as compared to…

  18. P1-32: Response of Human Visual System to Paranormal Stimuli Appearing in Three-Dimensional Display

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jisoo Hong

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Three-dimensional (3D display became one of indispensable features of commercial TVs in recent years. However, the 3D content displayed by 3D display may contain the abrupt change of depth when the scene changes, which might be considered as a paranormal stimulus. Because the human visual system is not accustomed to such paranormal stimuli in natural conditions, they can cause unexpected responses which usually induce discomfort. Following the change of depth expressed by 3D display, the eyeballs rotate to match the convergence to the new 3D image position. The amount of rotation varies according to the initial longitudinal location and depth displacement of 3D image. Because the change of depth is abrupt, there is delay in human visual system following the change and such delay can be a source of discomfort. To guarantee the safety in watching 3D TV, the acceptable level of displacement in the longitudinal direction should be revealed quantitatively. Additionally, the artificially generated scenes also can provide paranormal stimuli such as periodic depth variations. In the presentation, we investigate the response of human visual system to such paranormal stimuli given by 3D display system. Using the result of investigation, we can give guideline to creating the 3D content to minimize the discomfort coming from the paranormal stimuli.

  19. Shedding light on emotional perception: Interaction of brightness and semantic content in extrastriate visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schettino, Antonio; Keil, Andreas; Porcu, Emanuele; Müller, Matthias M

    2016-06-01

    The rapid extraction of affective cues from the visual environment is crucial for flexible behavior. Previous studies have reported emotion-dependent amplitude modulations of two event-related potential (ERP) components - the N1 and EPN - reflecting sensory gain control mechanisms in extrastriate visual areas. However, it is unclear whether both components are selective electrophysiological markers of attentional orienting toward emotional material or are also influenced by physical features of the visual stimuli. To address this question, electrical brain activity was recorded from seventeen male participants while viewing original and bright versions of neutral and erotic pictures. Bright neutral scenes were rated as more pleasant compared to their original counterpart, whereas erotic scenes were judged more positively when presented in their original version. Classical and mass univariate ERP analysis showed larger N1 amplitude for original relative to bright erotic pictures, with no differences for original and bright neutral scenes. Conversely, the EPN was only modulated by picture content and not by brightness, substantiating the idea that this component is a unique electrophysiological marker of attention allocation toward emotional material. Complementary topographic analysis revealed the early selective expression of a centro-parietal positivity following the presentation of original erotic scenes only, reflecting the recruitment of neural networks associated with sustained attention and facilitated memory encoding for motivationally relevant material. Overall, these results indicate that neural networks subtending the extraction of emotional information are differentially recruited depending on low-level perceptual features, which ultimately influence affective evaluations. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Visual attention to spatial and non-spatial visual stimuli is affected differentially by age: effects on event-related brain potentials and performance data.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Talsma, D.; Kok, A.; Ridderinkhof, K.R.

    2006-01-01

    To assess selective attention processes in young and old adults, behavioral and event-related potential (ERP) measures were recorded. Streams of visual stimuli were presented from left or right locations (Experiment 1) or from a central location and comprising two different spatial frequencies

  1. Smiling faces and cash bonuses: Exploring common affective coding across positive and negative emotional and motivational stimuli using fMRI.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Haeme R P; Kostandyan, Mariam; Boehler, C Nico; Krebs, Ruth M

    2018-06-01

    Although it is clear that emotional and motivational manipulations yield a strong influence on cognition and behaviour, these domains have mostly been investigated in independent research lines. Therefore, it remains poorly understood how far these affective manipulations overlap in terms of their underlying neural activations, especially in light of previous findings that suggest a shared valence mechanism across multiple affective processing domains (e.g., monetary incentives, primary rewards, emotional events). This is particularly interesting considering the commonality between emotional and motivational constructs in terms of their basic affective nature (positive vs. negative), but dissociations in terms of instrumentality, in that only reward-related stimuli are typically associated with performance-contingent outcomes. Here, we aimed to examine potential common neural processes triggered by emotional and motivational stimuli in matched tasks within participants using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Across tasks, we found shared valence effects in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and left inferior frontal gyrus (part of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex), with increased activity for positive and negative stimuli, respectively. Despite this commonality, emotion and reward tasks featured differential behavioural patterns in that negative valence effects (performance costs) were exclusive to emotional stimuli, while positive valence effects (performance benefits) were only observed for reward-related stimuli. Overall, our data suggest a common affective coding mechanism across different task domains and support the idea that monetary incentives entail signed basic valence signals, above and beyond the instruction to perform both gain and loss trials as accurately as possible to maximise the outcome.

  2. Brain activation to negative stimuli mediates a relationship between adolescent marijuana use and later emotional functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heitzeg, Mary M; Cope, Lora M; Martz, Meghan E; Hardee, Jillian E; Zucker, Robert A

    2015-12-01

    This work investigated the impact of heavy marijuana use during adolescence on emotional functioning, as well as the brain functional mediators of this effect. Participants (n=40) were recruited from the Michigan Longitudinal Study (MLS). Data on marijuana use were collected prospectively beginning in childhood as part of the MLS. Participants were classified as heavy marijuana users (n=20) or controls with minimal marijuana use. Two facets of emotional functioning-negative emotionality and resiliency (a self-regulatory mechanism)-were assessed as part of the MLS at three time points: mean age 13.4, mean age 19.6, and mean age 23.1. Functional neuroimaging data during an emotion-arousal word task were collected at mean age 20.2. Negative emotionality decreased and resiliency increased across the three time points in controls but not heavy marijuana users. Compared with controls, heavy marijuana users had less activation to negative words in temporal, prefrontal, and occipital cortices, insula, and amygdala. Activation of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex to negative words mediated an association between marijuana group and later negative emotionality. Activation of the cuneus/lingual gyrus mediated an association between marijuana group and later resiliency. Results support growing evidence that heavy marijuana use during adolescence affects later emotional outcomes. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  3. Brain activation to negative stimuli mediates a relationship between adolescent marijuana use and later emotional functioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mary M. Heitzeg

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available This work investigated the impact of heavy marijuana use during adolescence on emotional functioning, as well as the brain functional mediators of this effect. Participants (n = 40 were recruited from the Michigan Longitudinal Study (MLS. Data on marijuana use were collected prospectively beginning in childhood as part of the MLS. Participants were classified as heavy marijuana users (n = 20 or controls with minimal marijuana use. Two facets of emotional functioning—negative emotionality and resiliency (a self-regulatory mechanism—were assessed as part of the MLS at three time points: mean age 13.4, mean age 19.6, and mean age 23.1. Functional neuroimaging data during an emotion-arousal word task were collected at mean age 20.2. Negative emotionality decreased and resiliency increased across the three time points in controls but not heavy marijuana users. Compared with controls, heavy marijuana users had less activation to negative words in temporal, prefrontal, and occipital cortices, insula, and amygdala. Activation of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex to negative words mediated an association between marijuana group and later negative emotionality. Activation of the cuneus/lingual gyrus mediated an association between marijuana group and later resiliency. Results support growing evidence that heavy marijuana use during adolescence affects later emotional outcomes.

  4. Emotional and cognitive stimuli differentially engage the default network during inductive reasoning

    OpenAIRE

    Eldaief, Mark C.; Deckersbach, Thilo; Carlson, Lindsay E.; Beucke, Jan C.; Dougherty, Darin D.

    2011-01-01

    The brain’s default network (DN) is comprised of several cortical regions demonstrating robust intrinsic connectivity at rest. The authors sought to examine the differential effects of emotional reasoning and reasoning under certainty upon the DN through the employment of an event-related fMRI design in healthy participants. Participants were presented with syllogistic arguments which were organized into a 2 × 2 factorial design in which the first factor was emotional salience and the second ...

  5. Sales impact of servicescape's emotional and rational stimuli: a survey study

    OpenAIRE

    Morone, Andrea; Nemore, Francesco; Schirone, Dario Antonio

    2018-01-01

    Environmental psychologists suggest that people feelings and emotions determine what they do and how they do it. According to the stimulus organism respons model (SOR), the environment creates a behavioral/emotional response in individuals that, in turn, induces approach or avoidance behaviors. We conducted survey in six stores, settled in six different Italian cities, of a Swedish-founded Dutch-based multinational group, that designs and sells ready-to-assemble furniture, kitchen appliances ...

  6. Individuals Diagnosed with Schizophrenia Assign Emotional Importance to Neutral Stimuli: An fMRI Study

    OpenAIRE

    Lakis, Nadia; Mendrek, Adrianna

    2013-01-01

    The majority of functional neuroimaging studies investigating neural correlates of emotion processing in schizophrenia report a significant deficit in limbic structures activation in patients relative to control participants. Recently it has been suggested that this apparent “deficit” could be due to an enhanced sensitivity of the neutral material in individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia, rather than due to their inefficiency in emotion processing. The purpose of the present study was to t...

  7. Threat/reward-sensitivity and hypomanic-personality modulate cognitive-control and attentional neural processes to emotional stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pornpattananangkul, Narun; Hu, Xiaoqing; Nusslock, Robin

    2015-11-01

    Temperamental-traits (e.g. threat/reward-sensitivity) are found to modulate cognitive-control and attentional-processes. Yet, it is unclear exactly how these traits interact with emotional-stimuli in the modulation of cognitive-control, as reflected by the N2 event-related potential (ERP), and attentional-processes, as reflected by the P2 and P3 ERPs. Here in an ERP emotional-Go/NoGo task, 36 participants were instructed to inhibit their response to Fearful- and Happy-faces. Individual-differences in threat-sensitivity, reward-sensitivity and hypomanic-personality were assessed through self-report. Hypomanic-personality was assessed, given its relationship with reward-sensitivity and relevance to mood-disorder symptoms. Concerning cognitive-control, individuals with elevated threat-sensitivity displayed more-negative N2s to Happy-NoGo (relative to Fearful-NoGo) faces, whereas both individuals with elevated reward-sensitivity and hypomanic-personality displayed more-negative N2s to Fearful-NoGo (relative to Happy-NoGo) faces. Accordingly, when cognitive-control is required (during Go/NoGo), a mismatch between one's temperament and the valence of the NoGo-stimulus elevates detection of the need for cognitive-control. Conversely, the modulation of attentional-processing was specific to threat-sensitivity, as there was no relationship between either reward-sensitivity or hypomanic-personality and attentional-processing. Elevated threat-sensitivity was associated with enhanced early (P2s) and later (P3s) attentional-processing to Fearful-NoGo (relative to Happy-NoGo) faces. These latter findings support the negative attentional-bias model relating elevated threat-sensitivity with attentional-biases toward negative-stimuli and away from positive-stimuli. © The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  8. The sensory channel of presentation alters subjective ratings and autonomic responses towards disgusting stimuli -Blood pressure, heart rate and skin conductance in response to visual, auditory, haptic and olfactory presented disgusting stimuli-

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ilona eCroy

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Disgust causes specific reaction patterns, observable in mimic responses and body reactions. Most research on disgust deals with visual stimuli. However, pictures may cause another disgust experience than sounds, odors or tactile stimuli. Therefore disgust experience evoked by four different sensory channels was compared.A total of 119 participants received 3 different disgusting and one control stimulus, each presented through the visual, auditory, tactile and olfactory channel. Ratings of evoked disgust as well as responses of the autonomic nervous system (heart rate, skin conductance level, systolic blood pressure were recorded and the effect of stimulus labeling and of repeated presentation was analyzed. Ratings suggested that disgust could be evoked through all senses; they were highest for visual stimuli. However, autonomic reaction towards disgusting stimuli differed according to the channel of presentation. In contrast to the other, olfactory disgust stimuli provoked a strong decrease of systolic blood pressure. Additionally, labeling enhanced disgust ratings and autonomic reaction for olfactory and tactile, but not for visual and auditory stimuli. Repeated presentation indicated that participant’s disgust rating diminishes to all but olfactory disgust stimuli. Taken together we argue that the sensory channel through which a disgust reaction is evoked matters.

  9. Visual attention to meaningful stimuli by 1- to 3-year olds: implications for the measurement of memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayne, Harlene; Jaeger, Katja; Sonne, Trine; Gross, Julien

    2016-11-01

    The visual recognition memory (VRM) paradigm has been widely used to measure memory during infancy and early childhood; it has also been used to study memory in human and nonhuman adults. Typically, participants are familiarized with stimuli that have no special significance to them. Under these conditions, greater attention to the novel stimulus during the test (i.e., novelty preference) is used as the primary index of memory. Here, we took a novel approach to the VRM paradigm and tested 1-, 2-, and 3-year olds using photos of meaningful stimuli that were drawn from the participants' own environment (e.g., photos of their mother, father, siblings, house). We also compared their performance to that of participants of the same age who were tested in an explicit pointing version of the VRM task. Two- and 3-year olds exhibited a strong familiarity preference for some, but not all, of the meaningful stimuli; 1-year olds did not. At no age did participants exhibit the kind of novelty preference that is commonly used to define memory in the VRM task. Furthermore, when compared to pointing, looking measures provided a rough approximation of recognition memory, but in some instances, the looking measure underestimated retention. The use of meaningful stimuli raise important questions about the way in which visual attention is interpreted in the VRM paradigm, and may provide new opportunities to measure memory during infancy and early childhood. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Visual Sexual Stimuli-Cue or Reward? A Perspective for Interpreting Brain Imaging Findings on Human Sexual Behaviors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gola, Mateusz; Wordecha, Małgorzata; Marchewka, Artur; Sescousse, Guillaume

    2016-01-01

    There is an increasing number of neuroimaging studies using visual sexual stimuli (VSS), especially within the emerging field of research on compulsive sexual behaviors (CSB). A central question in this field is whether behaviors such as excessive pornography consumption share common brain mechanisms with widely studied substance and behavioral addictions. Depending on how VSS are conceptualized, different predictions can be formulated within the frameworks of Reinforcement Learning or Incentive Salience Theory, where a crucial distinction is made between conditioned and unconditioned stimuli (related to reward anticipation vs. reward consumption, respectively). Surveying 40 recent human neuroimaging studies we show existing ambiguity about the conceptualization of VSS. Therefore, we feel that it is important to address the question of whether VSS should be considered as conditioned stimuli (cue) or unconditioned stimuli (reward). Here we present our own perspective, which is that in most laboratory settings VSS play a role of reward, as evidenced by: (1) experience of pleasure while watching VSS, possibly accompanied by genital reaction; (2) reward-related brain activity correlated with these pleasurable feelings in response to VSS; (3) a willingness to exert effort to view VSS similarly as for other rewarding stimuli such as money; and (4) conditioning for cues predictive of VSS. We hope that this perspective article will initiate a scientific discussion on this important and overlooked topic and increase attention for appropriate interpretations of results of human neuroimaging studies using VSS.

  11. Approach motivation and cognitive resources combine to influence memory for positive emotional stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crowell, Adrienne; Schmeichel, Brandon J

    2016-01-01

    Inspired by the elaborated intrusion theory of desire, the current research tested the hypothesis that persons higher in trait approach motivation process positive stimuli deeply, which enhances memory for them. Ninety-four undergraduates completed a measure of trait approach motivation, viewed positive or negative image slideshows in the presence or absence of a cognitive load, and one week later completed an image memory test. Higher trait approach motivation predicted better memory for the positive slideshow, but this memory boost disappeared under cognitive load. Approach motivation did not influence memory for the negative slideshow. The current findings support the idea that individuals higher in approach motivation spontaneously devote limited resources to processing positive stimuli.

  12. The music of your emotions: neural substrates involved in detection of emotional correspondence between auditory and visual music actions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karin Petrini

    Full Text Available In humans, emotions from music serve important communicative roles. Despite a growing interest in the neural basis of music perception, action and emotion, the majority of previous studies in this area have focused on the auditory aspects of music performances. Here we investigate how the brain processes the emotions elicited by audiovisual music performances. We used event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging, and in Experiment 1 we defined the areas responding to audiovisual (musician's movements with music, visual (musician's movements only, and auditory emotional (music only displays. Subsequently a region of interest analysis was performed to examine if any of the areas detected in Experiment 1 showed greater activation for emotionally mismatching performances (combining the musician's movements with mismatching emotional sound than for emotionally matching music performances (combining the musician's movements with matching emotional sound as presented in Experiment 2 to the same participants. The insula and the left thalamus were found to respond consistently to visual, auditory and audiovisual emotional information and to have increased activation for emotionally mismatching displays in comparison with emotionally matching displays. In contrast, the right thalamus was found to respond to audiovisual emotional displays and to have similar activation for emotionally matching and mismatching displays. These results suggest that the insula and left thalamus have an active role in detecting emotional correspondence between auditory and visual information during music performances, whereas the right thalamus has a different role.

  13. Duration Judgments for Verbal Stimuli: Effects of Emotion, Attention, and Memory Encoding

    OpenAIRE

    Johnson, Laura Wendy

    2014-01-01

    In six experiments, this dissertation investigated duration judgments for verbal stimuli, testing predictions of information-processing models of time perception. Experiments 1, 2, and 3 explored the effects of low-valence, high-arousal taboo words on the perception of time. The results revealed that durations of taboo words were underestimated compared to neutral words in prospective timing tasks, including the temporal bisection task in Experiment 1 and the ordinality comparison procedure ...

  14. System to induce and measure embodiment of an artificial hand with programmable convergent visual and tactile stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benz, Heather L; Sieff, Talia R; Alborz, Mahsa; Kontson, Kimberly; Kilpatrick, Elizabeth; Civillico, Eugene F

    2016-08-01

    The sense of prosthesis embodiment, or the feeling that the device has been incorporated into a user's body image, may be enhanced by emerging technology such as invasive electrical stimulation for sensory feedback. In turn, prosthesis embodiment may be linked to increased prosthesis use and improved functional outcomes. We describe the development of a tool to assay artificial hand embodiment in a quantitative way in people with intact limbs, and characterize its operation. The system delivers temporally coordinated visual and tactile stimuli at a programmable latency while recording limb temperature. When programmed to deliver visual and tactile stimuli synchronously, recorded latency between the two was 33 ± 24 ms in the final pilot subject. This system enables standardized assays of the conditions necessary for prosthesis embodiment.

  15. The Influence of Emotion on Keyboard Typing: An Experimental Study Using Auditory Stimuli.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Po-Ming Lee

    Full Text Available In recent years, a novel approach for emotion recognition has been reported, which is by keystroke dynamics. The advantages of using this approach are that the data used is rather non-intrusive and easy to obtain. However, there were only limited investigations about the phenomenon itself in previous studies. Hence, this study aimed to examine the source of variance in keyboard typing patterns caused by emotions. A controlled experiment to collect subjects' keystroke data in different emotional states induced by International Affective Digitized Sounds (IADS was conducted. Two-way Valence (3 x Arousal (3 ANOVAs was used to examine the collected dataset. The results of the experiment indicate that the effect of arousal is significant in keystroke duration (p < .05, keystroke latency (p < .01, but not in the accuracy rate of keyboard typing. The size of the emotional effect is small, compared to the individual variability. Our findings support the conclusion that the keystroke duration and latency are influenced by arousal. The finding about the size of the effect suggests that the accuracy rate of emotion recognition technology could be further improved if personalized models are utilized. Notably, the experiment was conducted using standard instruments and hence is expected to be highly reproducible.

  16. The Influence of Emotion on Keyboard Typing: An Experimental Study Using Auditory Stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Po-Ming; Tsui, Wei-Hsuan; Hsiao, Tzu-Chien

    2015-01-01

    In recent years, a novel approach for emotion recognition has been reported, which is by keystroke dynamics. The advantages of using this approach are that the data used is rather non-intrusive and easy to obtain. However, there were only limited investigations about the phenomenon itself in previous studies. Hence, this study aimed to examine the source of variance in keyboard typing patterns caused by emotions. A controlled experiment to collect subjects' keystroke data in different emotional states induced by International Affective Digitized Sounds (IADS) was conducted. Two-way Valence (3) x Arousal (3) ANOVAs was used to examine the collected dataset. The results of the experiment indicate that the effect of arousal is significant in keystroke duration (p emotional effect is small, compared to the individual variability. Our findings support the conclusion that the keystroke duration and latency are influenced by arousal. The finding about the size of the effect suggests that the accuracy rate of emotion recognition technology could be further improved if personalized models are utilized. Notably, the experiment was conducted using standard instruments and hence is expected to be highly reproducible.

  17. Emotional and cognitive stimuli differentially engage the default network during inductive reasoning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eldaief, Mark C; Deckersbach, Thilo; Carlson, Lindsay E; Beucke, Jan C; Dougherty, Darin D

    2012-04-01

    The brain's default network (DN) is comprised of several cortical regions demonstrating robust intrinsic connectivity at rest. The authors sought to examine the differential effects of emotional reasoning and reasoning under certainty upon the DN through the employment of an event-related fMRI design in healthy participants. Participants were presented with syllogistic arguments which were organized into a 2 × 2 factorial design in which the first factor was emotional salience and the second factor was certainty/uncertainty. We demonstrate that regions of the DN were activated both during reasoning that is emotionally salient and during reasoning which is more certain, suggesting that these processes are neurally instantiated on a network level. In addition, we present evidence that emotional reasoning preferentially activates the dorsomedial (dMPFC) subsystem of the DN, whereas reasoning in the context of certainty activates areas specific to the DN's medial temporal (MTL) subsystem. We postulate that emotional reasoning mobilizes the dMPFC subsystem of the DN because this type of reasoning relies upon the recruitment of introspective and self-relevant data such as personal bias and temperament. In contrast, activation of the MTL subsystem during certainty argues that this form of reasoning involves the recruitment of mnemonic and semantic associations to derive conclusions.

  18. Processing of food, body and emotional stimuli in anorexia nervosa: a systematic review and meta-analysis of functional magnetic resonance imaging studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Yikang; Hu, Xiaochen; Wang, Jijun; Chen, Jue; Guo, Qian; Li, Chunbo; Enck, Paul

    2012-11-01

    The characteristics of the cognitive processing of food, body and emotional information in patients with anorexia nervosa (AN) are debatable. We reviewed functional magnetic resonance imaging studies to assess whether there were consistent neural basis and networks in the studies to date. Searching PubMed, Ovid, Web of Science, The Cochrane Library and Google Scholar between January 1980 and May 2012, we identified 17 relevant studies. Activation likelihood estimation was used to perform a quantitative meta-analysis of functional magnetic resonance imaging studies. For both food stimuli and body stimuli, AN patients showed increased hemodynamic response in the emotion-related regions (frontal, caudate, uncus, insula and temporal) and decreased activation in the parietal region. Although no robust brain activation has been found in response to emotional stimuli, emotion-related neural networks are involved in the processing of food and body stimuli among AN. It suggests that negative emotional arousal is related to cognitive processing bias of food and body stimuli in AN. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.

  19. Influences of menstrual cycle position and sex hormone levels on spontaneous intrusive recollections following emotional stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferree, Nikole K; Kamat, Rujvi; Cahill, Larry

    2011-12-01

    Spontaneous intrusive recollections (SIRs) are known to follow emotional events in clinical and non-clinical populations. Previous work in our lab has found that women report more SIRs than men after exposure to emotional films, and that this effect is driven entirely by women in the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. To replicate and extend this finding, participants viewed emotional films, provided saliva samples for sex hormone concentration analysis, and estimated SIR frequency following film viewing. Women in the luteal phase reported significantly more SIRs than did women in the follicular phase, and SIR frequency significantly correlated with salivary progesterone levels. The results are consistent with an emerging pattern in the literature suggesting that menstrual cycle position of female participants can potently influence findings in numerous cognitive domains. The potential implications of these results for disorders characterized by intrusions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, are also discussed. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Auditory preferences of young children with and without hearing loss for meaningful auditory-visual compound stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zupan, Barbra; Sussman, Joan E

    2009-01-01

    Experiment 1 examined modality preferences in children and adults with normal hearing to combined auditory-visual stimuli. Experiment 2 compared modality preferences in children using cochlear implants participating in an auditory emphasized therapy approach to the children with normal hearing from Experiment 1. A second objective in both experiments was to evaluate the role of familiarity in these preferences. Participants were exposed to randomized blocks of photographs and sounds of ten familiar and ten unfamiliar animals in auditory-only, visual-only and auditory-visual trials. Results indicated an overall auditory preference in children, regardless of hearing status, and a visual preference in adults. Familiarity only affected modality preferences in adults who showed a strong visual preference to unfamiliar stimuli only. The similar degree of auditory responses in children with hearing loss to those from children with normal hearing is an original finding and lends support to an auditory emphasis for habilitation. Readers will be able to (1) Describe the pattern of modality preferences reported in young children without hearing loss; (2) Recognize that differences in communication mode may affect modality preferences in young children with hearing loss; and (3) Understand the role of familiarity in modality preferences in children with and without hearing loss.

  1. Does excessive play of violent first-person-shooter-video-games dampen brain activity in response to emotional stimuli?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montag, Christian; Weber, Bernd; Trautner, Peter; Newport, Beate; Markett, Sebastian; Walter, Nora T; Felten, Andrea; Reuter, Martin

    2012-01-01

    The present case-control study investigated the processing of emotional pictures in excessive first-person-shooter-video-players and control persons. All participants of the fMRI experiment were confronted with pictures from four categories including pleasant, unpleasant, neutral content and pictures from the first-person-shooter-video-game 'Counterstrike'. Compared to controls, gamers showed a significantly lower activation of the left lateral medial frontal lobe while processing negative emotions. Another interesting finding of the study represents the higher activation of frontal and temporal brain areas in gamers when processing screen-shots from the first-person-shooter-video-game 'Counterstrike'. Higher brain activity in the lateral prefrontal cortex could represent a protection mechanism against experiencing negative emotions by down-regulating limbic brain activity. Due to a frequent confrontation with violent scenes, the first-person-shooter-video-gamers might have habituated to the effects of unpleasant stimuli resulting in lower brain activation. Individual differences in brain activations of the contrast Counterstrike>neutral pictures potentially resemble the activation of action-scripts related to the video-game. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Reducing attentional capture of emotion by broadening attention: increased global attention reduces early electrophysiological responses to negative stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gable, Philip A; Harmon-Jones, Eddie

    2012-05-01

    Decades of research has shown the influence of emotion on attentional capture, and more recently, the influence of emotion on neurophysiological processes related to attentional capture. The current research tested whether some of the earliest neurophysiological underpinnings of emotive attentional processes can be influenced by attentional manipulations of broadening versus narrowing. Previous research has shown that negative affects high in motivational intensity (e.g., disgust, fear) cause a relative narrowing of attentional scope (Gable and Harmon-Jones, 2010a; Easterbrook, 1959). Because of the strong link between motivation and attention, attentional scope should also influence the attentional capture of negative stimuli. The current study manipulated a local attentional scope or global attentional scope, then measured attentional capture towards disgust and neutral pictures using the N1 event-related potential component. Results revealed that a manipulated global attentional scope reduced N1 amplitude towards disgust pictures compared to a manipulated local attentional scope. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Neural correlates of alexithymia in response to emotional stimuli. A study of anorexia nervosa patients

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Miyake, Yoshie; Okamoto, Yasumasa; Onoda, Keiichi; Mantani, Tomoyuki; Yamawaki, Shigeto; Shirao, Naoko

    2009-01-01

    Individuals with alexithymia are typically unable to identify, understand, or describe their own emotions. Patients with anorexia nervosa (AN) have been shown to have high levels of alexithymia, and the latter trait may play an important role over the course of AN. However, relatively little is known about the underlying neurobiological relationships between alexithymia and AN. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between alexithymia level and brain activation in patients with AN. Thirty female patients participated in this study. Alexithymia was measured using the 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale. Functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to identify the brain regions that display abnormal hemodynamic activity while patients with AN were engaged in an emotional decision-making task. There was significant activation in the amygdala during the task, but not in the posterior and anterior cingulate cortices (PCC, ACC). However, PCC and ACC activation did vary as a function of alexithymia level. These results suggest that alexithymia in AN patients is associated with a deficit in the cognitive evaluation of negative emotions concerning body image. Alexithymia might play a crucial role in the emotional processing impairments that are often observed in AN patients, and this trait might ultimately help to better account for the psychopathological mechanism that underlies AN. (author)

  4. Processing environmental stimuli in paranoid schizophrenia: recognizing facial emotions and performing executive functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Shao Hua; Zhu, Jun Peng; Xu, You; Zheng, Lei Lei; Chai, Hao; He, Wei; Liu, Wei Bo; Li, Hui Chun; Wang, Wei

    2012-12-01

    To study the contribution of executive function to abnormal recognition of facial expressions of emotion in schizophrenia patients. Abnormal recognition of facial expressions of emotion was assayed according to Japanese and Caucasian facial expressions of emotion (JACFEE), Wisconsin card sorting test (WCST), positive and negative symptom scale, and Hamilton anxiety and depression scale, respectively, in 88 paranoid schizophrenia patients and 75 healthy volunteers. Patients scored higher on the Positive and Negative Symptom Scale and the Hamilton Anxiety and Depression Scales, displayed lower JACFEE recognition accuracies and poorer WCST performances. The JACFEE recognition accuracy of contempt and disgust was negatively correlated with the negative symptom scale score while the recognition accuracy of fear was positively with the positive symptom scale score and the recognition accuracy of surprise was negatively with the general psychopathology score in patients. Moreover, the WCST could predict the JACFEE recognition accuracy of contempt, disgust, and sadness in patients, and the perseverative errors negatively predicted the recognition accuracy of sadness in healthy volunteers. The JACFEE recognition accuracy of sadness could predict the WCST categories in paranoid schizophrenia patients. Recognition accuracy of social-/moral emotions, such as contempt, disgust and sadness is related to the executive function in paranoid schizophrenia patients, especially when regarding sadness. Copyright © 2012 The Editorial Board of Biomedical and Environmental Sciences. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Distinct neural systems underlying reduced emotional enhancement for positive and negative stimuli in early Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mistridis, Panagiota; Taylor, Kirsten I; Kissler, Johanna M; Monsch, Andreas U; Kressig, Reto W; Kivisaari, Sasa L

    2013-01-01

    Emotional information is typically better remembered than neutral content, and previous studies suggest that this effect is subserved particularly by the amygdala together with its interactions with the hippocampus. However, it is not known whether amygdala damage affects emotional memory performance at immediate and delayed recall, and whether its involvement is modulated by stimulus valence. Moreover, it is unclear to what extent more distributed neocortical regions involved in e.g., autobiographical memory, also contribute to emotional processing. We investigated these questions in a group of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD), which affects the amygdala, hippocampus and neocortical regions. Healthy controls (n = 14), patients with AD (n = 15) and its putative prodrome amnestic mild cognitive impairment (n = 11) completed a memory task consisting of immediate and delayed free recall of a list of positive, negative and neutral words. Memory performance was related to brain integrity in region of interest and whole-brain voxel-based morphometry analyses. In the brain-behavioral analyses, the left amygdala volume predicted the immediate recall of both positive and negative material, whereas at delay, left and right amygdala volumes were associated with performance with positive and negative words, respectively. Whole-brain analyses revealed additional associations between left angular gyrus integrity and the immediate recall of positive words as well as between the orbitofrontal cortex and the delayed recall of negative words. These results indicate that emotional memory impairments in AD may be underpinned by damage to regions implicated in emotional processing as well as frontoparietal regions, which may exert their influence via autobiographical memories and organizational strategies.

  6. Emotion Recognition and Visual-Scan Paths in Fragile X Syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaw, Tracey A.; Porter, Melanie A.

    2013-01-01

    This study investigated emotion recognition abilities and visual scanning of emotional faces in 16 Fragile X syndrome (FXS) individuals compared to 16 chronological-age and 16 mental-age matched controls. The relationships between emotion recognition, visual scan-paths and symptoms of social anxiety, schizotypy and autism were also explored.…

  7. Lack of multisensory integration in hemianopia: no influence of visual stimuli on aurally guided saccades to the blind hemifield.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonia F Ten Brink

    Full Text Available In patients with visual hemifield defects residual visual functions may be present, a phenomenon called blindsight. The superior colliculus (SC is part of the spared pathway that is considered to be responsible for this phenomenon. Given that the SC processes input from different modalities and is involved in the programming of saccadic eye movements, the aim of the present study was to examine whether multimodal integration can modulate oculomotor competition in the damaged hemifield. We conducted two experiments with eight patients who had visual field defects due to lesions that affected the retinogeniculate pathway but spared the retinotectal direct SC pathway. They had to make saccades to an auditory target that was presented alone or in combination with a visual stimulus. The visual stimulus could either be spatially coincident with the auditory target (possibly enhancing the auditory target signal, or spatially disparate to the auditory target (possibly competing with the auditory tar-get signal. For each patient we compared the saccade endpoint deviation in these two bi-modal conditions with the endpoint deviation in the unimodal condition (auditory target alone. In all seven hemianopic patients, saccade accuracy was affected only by visual stimuli in the intact, but not in the blind visual field. In one patient with a more limited quadrantano-pia, a facilitation effect of the spatially coincident visual stimulus was observed. We conclude that our results show that multisensory integration is infrequent in the blind field of patients with hemianopia.

  8. Lack of Multisensory Integration in Hemianopia: No Influence of Visual Stimuli on Aurally Guided Saccades to the Blind Hemifield

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ten Brink, Antonia F.; Nijboer, Tanja C. W.; Bergsma, Douwe P.; Barton, Jason J. S.; Van der Stigchel, Stefan

    2015-01-01

    In patients with visual hemifield defects residual visual functions may be present, a phenomenon called blindsight. The superior colliculus (SC) is part of the spared pathway that is considered to be responsible for this phenomenon. Given that the SC processes input from different modalities and is involved in the programming of saccadic eye movements, the aim of the present study was to examine whether multimodal integration can modulate oculomotor competition in the damaged hemifield. We conducted two experiments with eight patients who had visual field defects due to lesions that affected the retinogeniculate pathway but spared the retinotectal direct SC pathway. They had to make saccades to an auditory target that was presented alone or in combination with a visual stimulus. The visual stimulus could either be spatially coincident with the auditory target (possibly enhancing the auditory target signal), or spatially disparate to the auditory target (possibly competing with the auditory tar-get signal). For each patient we compared the saccade endpoint deviation in these two bi-modal conditions with the endpoint deviation in the unimodal condition (auditory target alone). In all seven hemianopic patients, saccade accuracy was affected only by visual stimuli in the intact, but not in the blind visual field. In one patient with a more limited quadrantano-pia, a facilitation effect of the spatially coincident visual stimulus was observed. We conclude that our results show that multisensory integration is infrequent in the blind field of patients with hemianopia. PMID:25835952

  9. Effective visualization assay for alcohol content sensing and methanol differentiation with solvent stimuli-responsive supramolecular ionic materials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Li; Qi, Hetong; Wang, Yuexiang; Yang, Lifen; Yu, Ping; Mao, Lanqun

    2014-08-05

    This study demonstrates a rapid visualization assay for on-spot sensing of alcohol content as well as for discriminating methanol-containing beverages with solvent stimuli-responsive supramolecular ionic material (SIM). The SIM is synthesized by ionic self-assembling of imidazolium-based dication C10(mim)2 and dianionic 2,2'-azino-bis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) (ABTS) in water and shows water stability, a solvent stimuli-responsive property, and adaptive encapsulation capability. The rationale for the visualization assay demonstrated here is based on the combined utilization of the unique properties of SIM, including its water stability, ethanol stimuli-responsive feature, and adaptive encapsulation capability toward optically active rhodamine 6G (Rh6G); the addition of ethanol into a stable aqueous dispersion of Rh6G-encapsulated SIM (Rh6G-SIM) destructs the Rh6G-SIM structure, resulting in the release of Rh6G from SIM into the solvent. Alcohol content can thus be visualized with the naked eyes through the color change of the dispersion caused by the addition of ethanol. Alcohol content can also be quantified by measuring the fluorescence line of Rh6G released from Rh6G-SIM on a thin-layer chromatography (TLC) plate in response to alcoholic beverages. By fixing the diffusion distance of the mobile phase, the fluorescence line of Rh6G shows a linear relationship with alcohol content (vol %) within a concentration range from 15% to 40%. We utilized this visualization assay for on-spot visualizing of the alcohol contents of three Chinese commercial spirits and discriminating methanol-containing counterfeit beverages. We found that addition of a trace amount of methanol leads to a large increase of the length of Rh6G on TLC plates, which provides a method to identify methanol adulterated beverages with labeled ethanol content. This study provides a simple yet effective assay for alcohol content sensing and methanol differentiation.

  10. Selling Sentiment: The Commodification of Emotion in Victorian Visual Culture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sonia Solicari

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available This essay argues that the Victorian sentimental impulse was motivated by the sharing of emotion and the dynamics of communal and interactive feeling. Integral to the popularity of sentiment was its recognition factor by means of established tropes and conventions. Arguably, the same familiarity that made narrative art accessible also made advertising successful and many of the same motifs ran from exhibition watercolours to book illustration to posters. Works of sentiment operated as emotional souvenirs so that material proof of feeling could be easily digested, displayed and revisited. The essay looks closer at the investment of emotion in ephemeral images, such as music-sheet covers, and the ways in which forms of feeling were standardised and reproduced in keeping with a new art-buying public and the possibilities of wider image dissemination. Focusing upon issues raised during the curation of a current exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum ( 'A Show of Emotion: Victorian Sentiment in Prints and Drawings', 7 Dec 2006 – 10 Sep 2007 this essay explores the ways in which the sentimental pervaded nineteenth-century visual culture and how, in the cut-throat commercial world of image production, sentiment became manifest and identifiable if only as a notional phenomenon.

  11. Is trait resilience characterized by specific patterns of attentional bias to emotional stimuli and attentional control?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schäfer, Judith; Wittchen, Hans-Ulrich; Höfler, Michael; Heinrich, Anke; Zimmermann, Peter; Siegel, Stefan; Schönfeld, Sabine

    2015-09-01

    Attentional processes have been suggested to play a crucial role in resilience defined as positive adaptation facing adversity. However, research is lacking on associations between attentional biases to positive and threat-related stimuli, attentional control and trait resilience. Data stem from the follow-up assessment of a longitudinal study investigating mental health and related factors among German soldiers. Trait resilience was assessed with the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale and attentional control with the Attentional Control Scale. A subset of n = 198 soldiers also completed a dot probe task with happy, neutral and threatening faces. Attentional control was positively related to trait resilience. Results revealed no associations between both attentional biases and trait resilience. However, there was a negative association between attentional bias to threat and trait resilience when attentional control was low and a positive association between attentional bias to threat and trait resilience when attentional control was high. No such associations were found for attentional bias to positive stimuli. Generalizability to other populations may be limited since we exclusively focused on male soldiers. Also, the cross-sectional design does not allow for causal conclusions. Findings suggest that attentional processing may promote trait resilience. Future research on preventive interventions should consider these findings. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Visual search and emotion: how children with autism spectrum disorders scan emotional scenes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maccari, Lisa; Pasini, Augusto; Caroli, Emanuela; Rosa, Caterina; Marotta, Andrea; Martella, Diana; Fuentes, Luis J; Casagrande, Maria

    2014-11-01

    This study assessed visual search abilities, tested through the flicker task, in children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Twenty-two children diagnosed with ASD and 22 matched typically developing (TD) children were told to detect changes in objects of central interest or objects of marginal interest (MI) embedded in either emotion-laden (positive or negative) or neutral real-world pictures. The results showed that emotion-laden pictures equally interfered with performance of both ASD and TD children, slowing down reaction times compared with neutral pictures. Children with ASD were faster than TD children, particularly in detecting changes in MI objects, the most difficult condition. However, their performance was less accurate than performance of TD children just when the pictures were negative. These findings suggest that children with ASD have better visual search abilities than TD children only when the search is particularly difficult and requires strong serial search strategies. The emotional-social impairment that is usually considered as a typical feature of ASD seems to be limited to processing of negative emotional information.

  13. Dissociating emotion-induced blindness and hypervision.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bocanegra, Bruno R; Zeelenberg, René

    2009-12-01

    Previous findings suggest that emotional stimuli sometimes improve (emotion-induced hypervision) and sometimes impair (emotion-induced blindness) the visual perception of subsequent neutral stimuli. We hypothesized that these differential carryover effects might be due to 2 distinct emotional influences in visual processing. On the one hand, emotional stimuli trigger a general enhancement in the efficiency of visual processing that can carry over onto other stimuli. On the other hand, emotional stimuli benefit from a stimulus-specific enhancement in later attentional processing at the expense of competing visual stimuli. We investigated whether detrimental (blindness) and beneficial (hypervision) carryover effects of emotion in perception can be dissociated within a single experimental paradigm. In 2 experiments, we manipulated the temporal competition for attention between an emotional cue word and a subsequent neutral target word by varying cue-target interstimulus interval (ISI) and cue visibility. Interestingly, emotional cues impaired target identification at short ISIs but improved target identification when competition was diminished by either increasing ISI or reducing cue visibility, suggesting that emotional significance of stimuli can improve and impair visual performance through distinct perceptual mechanisms.

  14. Differences in male and female subjective experience and physiological reactions to emotional stimuli

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Poláčková Šolcová, Iva; Lačev, A.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 117, July (2017), s. 75-82 ISSN 0167-8760 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GP14-02889P Grant - others:AV ČR(CZ) StrategieAV21/14 Program:StrategieAV Institutional support: RVO:68081740 Keywords : Emotion * Stereotype * Arousal * Valence * Gender Subject RIV: FH - Neurology OBOR OECD: Neurosciences (including psychophysiology Impact factor: 2.582, year: 2016

  15. [Effects of visual optical stimuli for accommodation-convergence system on asthenopia].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwasaki, Tsuneto; Tawara, Akihiko; Miyake, Nobuyuki

    2006-01-01

    We investigated the effect on eyestrain of optical stimuli that we designed for accommodation and convergence systems. Eight female students were given optical stimuli for accommodation and convergence systems for 1.5 min immediately after 20 min of a sustained task on a 3-D display. Before and after the trial, their ocular functions were measured and their symptoms were assessed. The optical stimuli were applied by moving targets of scenery images far and near around the far point position of both eyes on a horizonal place, which induced divergence in the direction of the eye position of rest. In a control group, subjects rested with closed eyes for 1.5 min instead of applying the optical stimuli. There were significant changes in the accommodative contraction time (from far to near) and the accommodative relaxation time (from near to far) and the lag of accommodation at near target, from 1.26 s to 1.62 s and from 1.49 s to 1.63 s and from 0.5 D to 0.65 D, respectively, and in the symptoms in the control group after the duration of closed-eye rest. In the stimulus group, however, the changes of those functions were smaller than in the control group. From these results, we suggest that our designed optical stimuli for accommodation and convergence systems are effective on asthenopia following accommodative dysfunction.

  16. Pupillary Response to Negative Emotional Stimuli Is Differentially Affected in Meditation Practitioners

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alejandra Vasquez-Rosati

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Clinically, meditative practices have become increasingly relevant, decreasing anxiety in patients and increasing antibody production. However, few studies have examined the physiological correlates, or effects of the incorporation of meditative practices. Because pupillary reactivity is a marker for autonomic changes and emotional processing, we hypothesized that the pupillary responses of mindfulness meditation practitioners (MP and subjects without such practices (non-meditators (NM differ, reflecting different emotional processing. In a group of 11 MP and 9 NM, we recorded the pupil diameter using video-oculography while subjects explored images with emotional contents. Although both groups showed a similar pupillary response for positive and neutral images, negative images evoked a greater pupillary contraction and a weaker dilation in the MP group. Also, this group had faster physiological recovery to baseline levels. These results suggest that mindfulness meditation practices modulate the response of the autonomic nervous system, reflected in the pupillary response to negative images and faster physiological recovery to baseline levels, suggesting that pupillometry could be used to assess the potential health benefits of these practices in patients.

  17. Socio-emotionally Significant Experience and Children’s Processing of Irrelevant Auditory Stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schermerhorn, Alice C.; Bates, John E.; Puce, Aina; Molfese, Dennis L.

    2017-01-01

    Theory and research indicate considerable influence of socio-emotionally significant experiences on children’s functioning and adaptation. In the current study, we examined neurophysiological correlates of children’s allocation of information processing resources to socio-emotionally significant events, specifically, simulated marital interactions. We presented 9- to 11-year-old children (n = 24; 11 females) with 15 videos of interactions between two actors posing as a married couple. Task-irrelevant brief auditory probes were presented during the videos, and event-related potentials (ERPs) elicited to the auditory probes were measured. As hypothesized, exposure to higher levels of interparental conflict was associated with smaller P1, P2, and N2 ERPs to the probes. This finding is consistent with the idea that children who had been exposed to more interparental conflict attended more to the videos and diverted fewer cognitive resources to processing the probes, thereby producing smaller ERPs to the probes. In addition, smaller N2s were associated with more child behavior problems, suggesting that allocating fewer processing resources to the probes was associated with more problem behavior. Results are discussed in terms of implications of socio-emotionally significant experiences for children’s processing of interpersonal interactions. PMID:27993611

  18. [Recognition of visual objects under forward masking. Effects of cathegorial similarity of test and masking stimuli].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerasimenko, N Iu; Slavutskaia, A V; Kalinin, S A; Kulikov, M A; Mikhaĭlova, E S

    2013-01-01

    In 38 healthy subjects accuracy and response time were examined during recognition of two categories of images--animals andnonliving objects--under forward masking. We revealed new data that masking effects depended of categorical similarity of target and masking stimuli. The recognition accuracy was the lowest and the response time was the most slow, when the target and masking stimuli belongs to the same category, that was combined with high dispersion of response times. The revealed effects were more clear in the task of animal recognition in comparison with the recognition of nonliving objects. We supposed that the revealed effects connected with interference between cortical representations of the target and masking stimuli and discussed our results in context of cortical interference and negative priming.

  19. Encoding of emotion-paired spatial stimuli in the rodent hippocampus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca eNalloor

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Rats can acquire the cognitive component of CS-US associations between sensory and aversive stimuli without a functional basolateral amygdala. Thus, other brain regions should support such associations. Some septal/dorsal CA1 (dCA1 neurons respond to both spatial stimuli and footshock, suggesting that dCA1 could be one such region. We report that, in both dorsal and ventral hippocampus, different neuronal ensembles express immediate-early genes when a place is experienced alone vs. when it is associated with foot shock. We assessed changes in the size and overlap of hippocampal neuronal ensembles activated by two behavioral events using a cellular imaging method, Arc/Homer1a catFISH. The control group (A-A experienced the same place twice, while the experimental group (A-CFC received the same training plus two foot shocks during the second event. During fear conditioning, A-CFC, compared to A-A, rats had a smaller ensemble size in dCA3, dCA1 and vCA3, but not vCA1. Additionally, A-CFC rats had a lower overlap score in dCA1 and vCA3. Locomotion did not correlate with ensemble size. Importantly, foot shocks delivered in a training paradigm that prevents establishing shock-context associations, did not induce significant Arc expression, rejecting the possibility that the observed changes in ensemble size and composition simply reflect experiencing a foot shock. Combined with data that Arc is necessary for lasting synaptic plasticity and long-term memory, the data suggests that Arc/H1a+ hippocampal neuronal ensembles encode aspects of fear conditioning beyond space and time. Rats, like humans, may use the hippocampus to create integrated episodic-like memory during fear conditioning.

  20. Modulation of auditory spatial attention by visual emotional cues: differential effects of attentional engagement and disengagement for pleasant and unpleasant cues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrison, Neil R; Woodhouse, Rob

    2016-05-01

    Previous research has demonstrated that threatening, compared to neutral pictures, can bias attention towards non-emotional auditory targets. Here we investigated which subcomponents of attention contributed to the influence of emotional visual stimuli on auditory spatial attention. Participants indicated the location of an auditory target, after brief (250 ms) presentation of a spatially non-predictive peripheral visual cue. Responses to targets were faster at the location of the preceding visual cue, compared to at the opposite location (cue validity effect). The cue validity effect was larger for targets following pleasant and unpleasant cues compared to neutral cues, for right-sided targets. For unpleasant cues, the crossmodal cue validity effect was driven by delayed attentional disengagement, and for pleasant cues, it was driven by enhanced engagement. We conclude that both pleasant and unpleasant visual cues influence the distribution of attention across modalities and that the associated attentional mechanisms depend on the valence of the visual cue.

  1. The Role of Visual and Auditory Stimuli in Continuous Performance Tests: Differential Effects on Children With ADHD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simões, Eunice N; Carvalho, Ana L Novais; Schmidt, Sergio L

    2018-04-01

    Continuous performance tests (CPTs) usually utilize visual stimuli. A previous investigation showed that inattention is partially independent of modality, but response inhibition is modality-specific. Here we aimed to compare performance on visual and auditory CPTs in ADHD and in healthy controls. The sample consisted of 160 elementary and high school students (43 ADHD, 117 controls). For each sensory modality, five variables were extracted: commission errors (CEs) and omission errors (OEs), reaction time (RT), variability of reaction time (VRT), and coefficient of variability (CofV = VRT / RT). The ADHD group exhibited higher rates for all test variables. The discriminant analysis indicated that auditory OE was the most reliable variable for discriminating between groups, followed by visual CE, auditory CE, and auditory CofV. Discriminant equation classified ADHD with 76.3% accuracy. Auditory parameters in the inattention domain (OE and VRT) can discriminate ADHD from controls. For the hyperactive/impulsive domain (CE), the two modalities are equally important.

  2. Enhanced early visual processing in response to snake and trypophobic stimuli

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    J.W. van Strien (Jan); Van der Peijl, M.K. (Manja K.)

    2018-01-01

    textabstractBackground: Trypophobia refers to aversion to clusters of holes. We investigated whether trypophobic stimuli evoke augmented early posterior negativity (EPN). Methods: Twenty-four participants filled out a trypophobia questionnaire and watched the random rapid serial presentation of 450

  3. Emotional valence of stimuli modulates false recognition: Using a modified version of the simplified conjoint recognition paradigm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Xianmin; Xiao, Hongrui; Wang, Dahua

    2016-11-01

    False recognition results from the interplay of multiple cognitive processes, including verbatim memory, gist memory, phantom recollection, and response bias. In the current study, we modified the simplified Conjoint Recognition (CR) paradigm to investigate the way in which the valence of emotional stimuli affects the cognitive process and behavioral outcome of false recognition. In Study 1, we examined the applicability of the modification to the simplified CR paradigm and model. Twenty-six undergraduate students (13 females, aged 21.00±2.30years) learned and recognized both the large and small categories of photo objects. The applicability of the paradigm and model was confirmed by a fair goodness-of-fit of the model to the observational data and by their competence in detecting the memory differences between the large- and small-category conditions. In Study 2, we recruited another sample of 29 undergraduate students (14 females, aged 22.60±2.74years) to learn and recognize the categories of photo objects that were emotionally provocative. The results showed that negative valence increased false recognition, particularly the rate of false "remember" responses, by facilitating phantom recollection; positive valence did not influence false recognition significantly though enhanced gist processing. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Use of a Remote Eye-Tracker for the Analysis of Gaze during Treadmill Walking and Visual Stimuli Exposition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Serchi

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The knowledge of the visual strategies adopted while walking in cognitively engaging environments is extremely valuable. Analyzing gaze when a treadmill and a virtual reality environment are used as motor rehabilitation tools is therefore critical. Being completely unobtrusive, remote eye-trackers are the most appropriate way to measure the point of gaze. Still, the point of gaze measurements are affected by experimental conditions such as head range of motion and visual stimuli. This study assesses the usability limits and measurement reliability of a remote eye-tracker during treadmill walking while visual stimuli are projected. During treadmill walking, the head remained within the remote eye-tracker workspace. Generally, the quality of the point of gaze measurements declined as the distance from the remote eye-tracker increased and data loss occurred for large gaze angles. The stimulus location (a dot-target did not influence the point of gaze accuracy, precision, and trackability during both standing and walking. Similar results were obtained when the dot-target was replaced by a static or moving 2D target and “region of interest” analysis was applied. These findings foster the feasibility of the use of a remote eye-tracker for the analysis of gaze during treadmill walking in virtual reality environments.

  5. Glucose administration enhances fMRI brain activation and connectivity related to episodic memory encoding for neutral and emotional stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parent, Marise B; Krebs-Kraft, Desiree L; Ryan, John P; Wilson, Jennifer S; Harenski, Carla; Hamann, Stephan

    2011-04-01

    Glucose enhances memory in a variety of species. In humans, glucose administration enhances episodic memory encoding, although little is known regarding the neural mechanisms underlying these effects. Here we examined whether elevating blood glucose would enhance functional MRI (fMRI) activation and connectivity in brain regions associated with episodic memory encoding and whether these effects would differ depending on the emotional valence of the material. We used a double-blind, within-participants, crossover design in which either glucose (50g) or a saccharin placebo were administered before scanning, on days approximately 1 week apart. We scanned healthy young male participants with fMRI as they viewed emotionally arousing negative pictures and emotionally neutral pictures, intermixed with baseline fixation. Free recall was tested at 5 min after scanning and again after 1 day. Glucose administration increased activation in brain regions associated with successful episodic memory encoding. Glucose also enhanced activation in regions whose activity was correlated with subsequent successful recall, including the hippocampus, prefrontal cortex, and other regions, and these effects differed for negative vs. neutral stimuli. Finally, glucose substantially increased functional connectivity between the hippocampus and amygdala and a network of regions previously implicated in successful episodic memory encoding. These findings fit with evidence from nonhuman animals indicating glucose modulates memory by selectively enhancing neural activity in brain regions engaged during memory tasks. Our results highlight the modulatory effects of glucose and the importance of examining both regional changes in activity and functional connectivity to fully characterize the effects of glucose on brain function and memory. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Assessment of sexual orientation using the hemodynamic brain response to visual sexual stimuli

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ponseti, Jorge; Granert, Oliver; Jansen, Olav

    2009-01-01

    in a nonclinical sample of 12 heterosexual men and 14 homosexual men. During fMRI, participants were briefly exposed to pictures of same-sex and opposite-sex genitals. Data analysis involved four steps: (i) differences in the BOLD response to female and male sexual stimuli were calculated for each subject; (ii......) these contrast images were entered into a group analysis to calculate whole-brain difference maps between homosexual and heterosexual participants; (iii) a single expression value was computed for each subject expressing its correspondence to the group result; and (iv) based on these expression values, Fisher...... response patterns of the brain to sexual stimuli contained sufficient information to predict individual sexual orientation with high accuracy. These results suggest that fMRI-based classification methods hold promise for the diagnosis of paraphilic disorders (e.g., pedophilia)....

  7. Enhanced early visual processing in response to snake and trypophobic stimuli

    OpenAIRE

    Strien, Jan; Van der Peijl, M.K. (Manja K.)

    2018-01-01

    textabstractBackground: Trypophobia refers to aversion to clusters of holes. We investigated whether trypophobic stimuli evoke augmented early posterior negativity (EPN). Methods: Twenty-four participants filled out a trypophobia questionnaire and watched the random rapid serial presentation of 450 trypophobic pictures, 450 pictures of poisonous animals, 450 pictures of snakes, and 450 pictures of small birds (1800 pictures in total, at a rate of 3 pictures/s). The EPN was scored as the mean ...

  8. Heightened eating drive and visual food stimuli attenuate central nociceptive processing

    OpenAIRE

    Wright, Hazel; Li, Xiaoyun; Fallon, Nicholas B.; Giesbrecht, Timo; Thomas, Anna; Harrold, Joanne A.; Halford, Jason C. G.; Stancak, Andrej

    2014-01-01

    Hunger and pain are basic drives that compete for a behavioral response when experienced together. To investigate the cortical processes underlying hunger-pain interactions, we manipulated participants' hunger and presented photographs of appetizing food or inedible objects in combination with painful laser stimuli. Fourteen healthy participants completed two EEG sessions: one after an overnight fast, the other following a large breakfast. Spatio-temporal patterns of cortical activation under...

  9. The impact of intranasal oxytocin on attention to social emotional stimuli in patients with anorexia nervosa: a double blind within-subject cross-over experiment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Youl-Ri Kim

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND AND AIM: Social factors may be of importance causally and act as maintenance factors in patients with anorexia nervosa. Oxytocin is a neuromodulatory hormone involved in social emotional processing associated with attentional processes. This study aimed to examine the impact of oxytocin on attentional processes to social faces representing anger, disgust, and happiness in patients with anorexia nervosa. METHOD: A double-blind, placebo-controlled within-subject crossover design was used. Intranasal oxytocin or placebo followed by a visual probe detection task with faces depicting anger, disgust, and happiness was administered to 64 female subjects: 31 patients with anorexia nervosa and 33 control students. RESULTS: Attentional bias to the disgust stimuli was observed in both groups under the placebo condition. The attentional bias to disgust was reduced under the oxytocin condition (a moderate effect in the patient group. Avoidance of angry faces was observed in the patient group under the placebo condition and vigilance was observed in the healthy comparison group; both of these information processing responses were moderated by oxytocin producing an increase in vigilance in the patients. Happy/smiling faces did not elicit an attentional response in controls or the patients under either the placebo or oxytocin conditions. CONCLUSION: Oxytocin attenuated attentional vigilance to disgust in patients with anorexia nervosa and healthy controls. On the other hand, oxytocin changed the response to angry faces from avoidance to vigilance in patients but reduced vigilance to anger in healthy controls. We conclude that patients with anorexia nervosa appear to use different strategies/circuits to emotionally process anger from their healthy counterparts.

  10. Abnormal Cardiovascular Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Responses to Physical and Emotional Stimuli in Depersonalization Disorder.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew Paul Owens

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Depersonalization disorder (DPD is characterized by subjective unreality, disembodiment, emotional numbing and reduced psychogenic sympathoexcitation. 3 related experiments used physical and emotional challenges in 14 DPD participants and 16 controls to elucidate whether the cardiovascular sympathetic (SNS and parasympathetic (PNS nervous systems are implicated in DPD and if blunted DPD sympathoexcitation is peripherally or centrally mediated. Participants completed the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI, Dissociative Experience Scale (DES and Cambridge Depersonalization Scale (CDS. Study I recorded heart rate (HR and blood pressure (BP during 5mins supine baseline, 3mins handgrip (HG, 3mins cold pressor (CP and 5mins 60°head-up tilt (HUT. Study II recorded HR, BP and heart rate variability (HRV during 5mins HUT and unpleasant images. Study III examined HR and BP orienting responses (ORs to HUT and unpleasant, neutral and pleasant images. DPD BAI (p=0.0004, DES (p=.0002 and CDS (p=< 0.0001 scores were higher than controls. The DPD group produced diminished diastolic BP (DBP (p=0.045 increases to HG. Other indices were comparable between groups. DPD participants produced diminished systolic BP (SBP (p=0.003 and DBP (p=0.002 increases, but greater (p=0.004 HR increases to CP. In study II, DPD high frequency HRV (HF-HRV – indicating parasympathetic vagal activity - was reduced (p=0.029. In study III, DPD DBP was higher throughout the 5s duration of HUT/pseudorandom unpleasant image presentation (1s [p=0.002], 2s [p=0.033], 3s [p=0.001], 4s [p=0.009], 5s [p=0.029]. Study I’s BP pressor data supports previous findings of suppressed sympathoexcitatioin DPD. The greater HR increases to CP, decreased HF-HRV in study II, and increased DBP during unpleasant ORs in study III implicates the SNS and PNS in DPD pathophysiology. These studies suggest the cardiovascular autonomic dysregulation in DPD is likely to be centrally-mediated

  11. A Basic Study on P300 Event-Related Potentials Evoked by Simultaneous Presentation of Visual and Auditory Stimuli for the Communication Interface

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masami Hashimoto

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available We have been engaged in the development of a brain-computer interface (BCI based on the cognitive P300 event-related potentials (ERPs evoked by simultaneous presentation of visual and auditory stimuli in order to assist with the communication in severe physical limitation persons. The purpose of the simultaneous presentation of these stimuli is to give the user more choices as commands. First, we extracted P300 ERPs by either visual oddball paradigm or auditory oddball paradigm. Then amplitude and latency of the P300 ERPs were measured. Second, visual and auditory stimuli were presented simultaneously, we measured the P300 ERPs varying the condition of combinations of these stimuli. In this report, we used 3 colors as visual stimuli and 3 types of MIDI sounds as auditory stimuli. Two types of simultaneous presentations were examined. The one was conducted with random combination. The other was called group stimulation, combining one color, such as red, and one MIDI sound, such as piano, in order to make a group; three groups were made. Each group was presented to users randomly. We evaluated the possibility of BCI using these stimuli from the amplitudes and the latencies of P300 ERPs.

  12. Activation of extrastriate and frontal cortical areas by visual words and word-like stimuli

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Petersen, S.E.; Fox, P.T.; Snyder, A.Z.; Raichle, M.E.

    1990-01-01

    Visual presentation of words activates extrastriate regions of the occipital lobes of the brain. When analyzed by positron emission tomography (PET), certain areas in the left, medial extrastriate visual cortex were activated by visually presented pseudowords that obey English spelling rules, as well as by actual words. These areas were not activated by nonsense strings of letters or letter-like forms. Thus visual word form computations are based on learned distinctions between words and nonwords. In addition, during passive presentation of words, but not pseudowords, activation occurred in a left frontal area that is related to semantic processing. These findings support distinctions made in cognitive psychology and computational modeling between high-level visual and semantic computations on single words and describe the anatomy that may underlie these distinctions

  13. Emotion recognition abilities across stimulus modalities in schizophrenia and the role of visual attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simpson, Claire; Pinkham, Amy E; Kelsven, Skylar; Sasson, Noah J

    2013-12-01

    Emotion can be expressed by both the voice and face, and previous work suggests that presentation modality may impact emotion recognition performance in individuals with schizophrenia. We investigated the effect of stimulus modality on emotion recognition accuracy and the potential role of visual attention to faces in emotion recognition abilities. Thirty-one patients who met DSM-IV criteria for schizophrenia (n=8) or schizoaffective disorder (n=23) and 30 non-clinical control individuals participated. Both groups identified emotional expressions in three different conditions: audio only, visual only, combined audiovisual. In the visual only and combined conditions, time spent visually fixating salient features of the face were recorded. Patients were significantly less accurate than controls in emotion recognition during both the audio and visual only conditions but did not differ from controls on the combined condition. Analysis of visual scanning behaviors demonstrated that patients attended less than healthy individuals to the mouth in the visual condition but did not differ in visual attention to salient facial features in the combined condition, which may in part explain the absence of a deficit for patients in this condition. Collectively, these findings demonstrate that patients benefit from multimodal stimulus presentations of emotion and support hypotheses that visual attention to salient facial features may serve as a mechanism for accurate emotion identification. © 2013.

  14. Orexin receptor antagonist-induced sleep does not impair the ability to wake in response to emotionally salient acoustic stimuli in dogs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pamela L. Tannenbaum

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The ability to awaken from sleep in response to important stimuli is a critical feature of normal sleep, as is maintaining sleep continuity in the presence of irrelevant background noise. Dual orexin receptor antagonists (DORAs effectively promote sleep across species by targeting the evolutionarily conserved wake-promoting orexin signaling pathway. This study in dogs investigated whether DORA-induced sleep preserved the ability to awaken appropriately to salient acoustic stimuli but remain asleep when exposed to irrelevant stimuli. Sleep and wake in response to DORAs, vehicle, GABA-A receptor modulators (diazepam, eszopiclone and zolpidem and antihistamine (diphenhydramine administration were evaluated in telemetry-implanted adult dogs with continuous electrocorticogram, electromyogram, electrooculogram, and activity recordings. DORAs induced sleep, but GABA-A modulators and antihistamine induced paradoxical hyperarousal. Thus, salience gating studies were conducted during DORA-22 (0.3, 1, and 5 mg/kg; day and night and vehicle nighttime sleep. The acoustic stimuli were either classically conditioned using food reward and positive attention (salient stimulus or presented randomly (neutral stimulus. Once conditioned, the tones were presented at sleep times corresponding to maximal DORA-22 exposure. In response to the salient stimuli, dogs woke completely from vehicle and orexin-antagonized sleep across all sleep stages but rarely awoke to neutral stimuli. Notably, acute pharmacological antagonism of orexin receptors paired with emotionally salient anticipation produced wake, not cataplexy, in a species where genetic (chronic loss of orexin receptor signaling leads to narcolepsy/cataplexy. DORA-induced sleep in this species thereby retains the desired capacity to awaken to emotionally salient acoustic stimuli while preserving uninterrupted sleep in response to irrelevant stimuli.

  15. Consuming Almonds vs. Isoenergetic Baked Food Does Not Differentially Influence Postprandial Appetite or Neural Reward Responses to Visual Food Stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sayer, R Drew; Dhillon, Jaapna; Tamer, Gregory G; Cornier, Marc-Andre; Chen, Ningning; Wright, Amy J; Campbell, Wayne W; Mattes, Richard D

    2017-07-27

    Nuts have high energy and fat contents, but nut intake does not promote weight gain or obesity, which may be partially explained by their proposed high satiety value. The primary aim of this study was to assess the effects of consuming almonds versus a baked food on postprandial appetite and neural responses to visual food stimuli. Twenty-two adults (19 women and 3 men) with a BMI between 25 and 40 kg/m² completed the current study during a 12-week behavioral weight loss intervention. Participants consumed either 28 g of whole, lightly salted roasted almonds or a serving of a baked food with equivalent energy and macronutrient contents in random order on two testing days prior to and at the end of the intervention. Pre- and postprandial appetite ratings and functional magnetic resonance imaging scans were completed on all four testing days. Postprandial hunger, desire to eat, fullness, and neural responses to visual food stimuli were not different following consumption of almonds and the baked food, nor were they influenced by weight loss. These results support energy and macronutrient contents as principal determinants of postprandial appetite and do not support a unique satiety effect of almonds independent of these variables.

  16. Enhanced pain and autonomic responses to ambiguous visual stimuli in chronic Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) type I.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, H E; Hall, J; Harris, N; McCabe, C S; Blake, D R; Jänig, W

    2012-02-01

    Cortical reorganisation of sensory, motor and autonomic systems can lead to dysfunctional central integrative control. This may contribute to signs and symptoms of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), including pain. It has been hypothesised that central neuroplastic changes may cause afferent sensory feedback conflicts and produce pain. We investigated autonomic responses produced by ambiguous visual stimuli (AVS) in CRPS, and their relationship to pain. Thirty CRPS patients with upper limb involvement and 30 age and sex matched healthy controls had sympathetic autonomic function assessed using laser Doppler flowmetry of the finger pulp at baseline and while viewing a control figure or AVS. Compared to controls, there were diminished vasoconstrictor responses and a significant difference in the ratio of response between affected and unaffected limbs (symmetry ratio) to a deep breath and viewing AVS. While viewing visual stimuli, 33.5% of patients had asymmetric vasomotor responses and all healthy controls had a homologous symmetric pattern of response. Nineteen (61%) CRPS patients had enhanced pain within seconds of viewing the AVS. All the asymmetric vasomotor responses were in this group, and were not predictable from baseline autonomic function. Ten patients had accompanying dystonic reactions in their affected limb: 50% were in the asymmetric sub-group. In conclusion, there is a group of CRPS patients that demonstrate abnormal pain networks interacting with central somatomotor and autonomic integrational pathways. © 2011 European Federation of International Association for the Study of Pain Chapters.

  17. Is It Me or My Hormones? Neuroendocrine Activation Profiles to Visual Food Stimuli Across the Menstrual Cycle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnoni-Bauer, Yardena; Bick, Atira; Raz, Noa; Imbar, Tal; Amos, Shoshana; Agmon, Orly; Marko, Limor; Levin, Netta; Weiss, Ram

    2017-09-01

    Homeostatic energy balance is controlled via the hypothalamus, whereas regions controlling reward and cognitive decision-making are critical for hedonic eating. Eating varies across the menstrual cycle peaking at the midluteal phase. To test responses of females with regular cycles during midfollicular and midluteal phase and of users of monophasic oral contraception pills (OCPs) to visual food cues. Participants performed a functional magnetic resonance imaging while exposed to visual food cues in four time points: fasting and fed conditions in midfollicular and midluteal phases. Twenty females with regular cycles and 12 on monophasic OCP, aged 18 to 35 years. Activity in homeostatic (hypothalamus), reward (amygdala, putamen and insula), frontal (anterior cingulate cortex, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex), and visual regions (calcarine and lateral occipital cortex). Tertiary hospital. In females with regular cycles, brain regions associated with homeostasis but also the reward system, executive frontal areas, and afferent visual areas were activated to a greater degree during the luteal compared with the follicular phase. Within the visual areas, a dual effect of hormonal and prandial state was seen. In females on monophasic OCPs, characterized by a permanently elevated progesterone concentration, activity reminiscent of the luteal phase was found. Androgen, cortisol, testosterone, and insulin levels were significantly correlated with reward and visual region activation. Hormonal mechanisms affect the responses of women's homeostatic, emotional, and attentional brain regions to food cues. The relation of these findings to eating behavior throughout the cycle needs further investigation. Copyright © 2017 Endocrine Society

  18. Visualizing phase transition behavior of dilute stimuli responsive polymer solutions via Mueller matrix polarimetry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narayanan, Amal; Chandel, Shubham; Ghosh, Nirmalya; De, Priyadarsi

    2015-09-15

    Probing volume phase transition behavior of superdiluted polymer solutions both micro- and macroscopically still persists as an outstanding challenge. In this regard, we have explored 4 × 4 spectral Mueller matrix measurement and its inverse analysis for excavating the microarchitectural facts about stimuli responsiveness of "smart" polymers. Phase separation behavior of thermoresponsive poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM) and pH responsive poly(N,N-(dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate) (PDMAEMA) and their copolymers were analyzed in terms of Mueller matrix derived polarization parameters, namely, depolarization (Δ), diattenuation (d), and linear retardance (δ). The Δ, d, and δ parameters provided useful information on both macro- and microstructural alterations during the phase separation. Additionally, the two step action ((i) breakage of polymer-water hydrogen bonding and (ii) polymer-polymer aggregation) at the molecular microenvironment during the cloud point generation was successfully probed via these parameters. It is demonstrated that, in comparison to the present techniques available for assessing the hydrophobic-hydrophilic switch over of simple stimuli-responsive polymers, Mueller matrix polarimetry offers an important advantage requiring a few hundred times dilute polymer solution (0.01 mg/mL, 1.1-1.4 μM) at a low-volume format.

  19. Heightened eating drive and visual food stimuli attenuate central nociceptive processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Hazel; Li, Xiaoyun; Fallon, Nicholas B; Giesbrecht, Timo; Thomas, Anna; Harrold, Joanne A; Halford, Jason C G; Stancak, Andrej

    2015-03-01

    Hunger and pain are basic drives that compete for a behavioral response when experienced together. To investigate the cortical processes underlying hunger-pain interactions, we manipulated participants' hunger and presented photographs of appetizing food or inedible objects in combination with painful laser stimuli. Fourteen healthy participants completed two EEG sessions: one after an overnight fast, the other following a large breakfast. Spatio-temporal patterns of cortical activation underlying the hunger-pain competition were explored with 128-channel EEG recordings and source dipole analysis of laser-evoked potentials (LEPs). We found that initial pain ratings were temporarily reduced when participants were hungry compared with fed. Source activity in parahippocampal gyrus was weaker when participants were hungry, and activations of operculo-insular cortex, anterior cingulate cortex, parahippocampal gyrus, and cerebellum were smaller in the context of appetitive food photographs than in that of inedible object photographs. Cortical processing of noxious stimuli in pain-related brain structures is reduced and pain temporarily attenuated when people are hungry or passively viewing food photographs, suggesting a possible interaction between the opposing motivational forces of the eating drive and pain. Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.

  20. Detection of Emotional Faces: Salient Physical Features Guide Effective Visual Search

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calvo, Manuel G.; Nummenmaa, Lauri

    2008-01-01

    In this study, the authors investigated how salient visual features capture attention and facilitate detection of emotional facial expressions. In a visual search task, a target emotional face (happy, disgusted, fearful, angry, sad, or surprised) was presented in an array of neutral faces. Faster detection of happy and, to a lesser extent,…

  1. Selective Attention to Visual Stimuli Using Auditory Distractors Is Altered in Alpha-9 Nicotinic Receptor Subunit Knock-Out Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terreros, Gonzalo; Jorratt, Pascal; Aedo, Cristian; Elgoyhen, Ana Belén; Delano, Paul H

    2016-07-06

    During selective attention, subjects voluntarily focus their cognitive resources on a specific stimulus while ignoring others. Top-down filtering of peripheral sensory responses by higher structures of the brain has been proposed as one of the mechanisms responsible for selective attention. A prerequisite to accomplish top-down modulation of the activity of peripheral structures is the presence of corticofugal pathways. The mammalian auditory efferent system is a unique neural network that originates in the auditory cortex and projects to the cochlear receptor through the olivocochlear bundle, and it has been proposed to function as a top-down filter of peripheral auditory responses during attention to cross-modal stimuli. However, to date, there is no conclusive evidence of the involvement of olivocochlear neurons in selective attention paradigms. Here, we trained wild-type and α-9 nicotinic receptor subunit knock-out (KO) mice, which lack cholinergic transmission between medial olivocochlear neurons and outer hair cells, in a two-choice visual discrimination task and studied the behavioral consequences of adding different types of auditory distractors. In addition, we evaluated the effects of contralateral noise on auditory nerve responses as a measure of the individual strength of the olivocochlear reflex. We demonstrate that KO mice have a reduced olivocochlear reflex strength and perform poorly in a visual selective attention paradigm. These results confirm that an intact medial olivocochlear transmission aids in ignoring auditory distraction during selective attention to visual stimuli. The auditory efferent system is a neural network that originates in the auditory cortex and projects to the cochlear receptor through the olivocochlear system. It has been proposed to function as a top-down filter of peripheral auditory responses during attention to cross-modal stimuli. However, to date, there is no conclusive evidence of the involvement of olivocochlear

  2. Attentional bias for affective visual stimuli in posttraumatic stress disorder and the role of depression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hauschildt, Marit; Wittekind, Charlotte; Moritz, Steffen; Kellner, Michael; Jelinek, Lena

    2013-05-15

    An attentional bias for trauma-related verbal cues was frequently demonstrated in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) using variants of the emotional Stroop task (EST). However, the mechanisms underlying the Stroop-effect are ill-defined and it is yet unclear how the findings apply to different paradigms and stimulus modalities. To address these open questions, for the first time a spatial-cuing task with pictorial cues of different emotional valence was administered to trauma-exposed individuals with and without PTSD, and non-trauma-exposed controls. Groups did not show different response profiles across affective conditions. However, a group effect was evident when comparing depressed with non-depressed individuals: Those with depression showed delayed attending towards trauma-related cues and faster attending away from negative cues. In correlational analyses, attentional avoidance was associated with both depression and PTSD symptom severity. These findings highlight the need for research on trauma populations and anxiety in general to pay closer attention to depression as an important confound in the study of emotional information processing. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Statistics of Visual Responses to Image Object Stimuli from Primate AIT Neurons to DNN Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Qiulei; Wang, Hong; Hu, Zhanyi

    2018-02-01

    Under the goal-driven paradigm, Yamins et al. ( 2014 ; Yamins & DiCarlo, 2016 ) have shown that by optimizing only the final eight-way categorization performance of a four-layer hierarchical network, not only can its top output layer quantitatively predict IT neuron responses but its penultimate layer can also automatically predict V4 neuron responses. Currently, deep neural networks (DNNs) in the field of computer vision have reached image object categorization performance comparable to that of human beings on ImageNet, a data set that contains 1.3 million training images of 1000 categories. We explore whether the DNN neurons (units in DNNs) possess image object representational statistics similar to monkey IT neurons, particularly when the network becomes deeper and the number of image categories becomes larger, using VGG19, a typical and widely used deep network of 19 layers in the computer vision field. Following Lehky, Kiani, Esteky, and Tanaka ( 2011 , 2014 ), where the response statistics of 674 IT neurons to 806 image stimuli are analyzed using three measures (kurtosis, Pareto tail index, and intrinsic dimensionality), we investigate the three issues in this letter using the same three measures: (1) the similarities and differences of the neural response statistics between VGG19 and primate IT cortex, (2) the variation trends of the response statistics of VGG19 neurons at different layers from low to high, and (3) the variation trends of the response statistics of VGG19 neurons when the numbers of stimuli and neurons increase. We find that the response statistics on both single-neuron selectivity and population sparseness of VGG19 neurons are fundamentally different from those of IT neurons in most cases; by increasing the number of neurons in different layers and the number of stimuli, the response statistics of neurons at different layers from low to high do not substantially change; and the estimated intrinsic dimensionality values at the low

  4. Amygdala activity related to enhanced memory for pleasant and aversive stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamann, S B; Ely, T D; Grafton, S T; Kilts, C D

    1999-03-01

    Pleasant or aversive events are better remembered than neutral events. Emotional enhancement of episodic memory has been linked to the amygdala in animal and neuropsychological studies. Using positron emission tomography, we show that bilateral amygdala activity during memory encoding is correlated with enhanced episodic recognition memory for both pleasant and aversive visual stimuli relative to neutral stimuli, and that this relationship is specific to emotional stimuli. Furthermore, data suggest that the amygdala enhances episodic memory in part through modulation of hippocampal activity. The human amygdala seems to modulate the strength of conscious memory for events according to emotional importance, regardless of whether the emotion is pleasant or aversive.

  5. Positive schizotypy scores correlate with left visual field interference for negatively valenced emotional words: A lateralized emotional Stroop study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Strien, Jan W; Van Kampen, Dirk

    2009-10-30

    Fourteen men scoring high and 14 men scoring low on a positive schizotypy scale participated in a lateralized emotional Stroop task. Vocal reaction times for color naming of neutral, positive and negative emotional words were recorded. Across participants, the color naming of neutral and emotional words was slightly faster to right than to left visual field presentations. In men with high scores on positive schizotypy, the presentation of negative words to the left visual field (right hemisphere) resulted in significant affective interference with color naming, which was significantly larger than in men with low scores. Correlational analysis also showed that positive schizotypy was significantly associated with emotional interference in response to LVF negative words. The outcome is discussed in terms of right hemispheric engagement in negative emotions in high positive schizotypic men.

  6. Sex differences in visual attention to erotic and non-erotic stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lykins, Amy D; Meana, Marta; Strauss, Gregory P

    2008-04-01

    It has been suggested that sex differences in the processing of erotic material (e.g., memory, genital arousal, brain activation patterns) may also be reflected by differential attention to visual cues in erotic material. To test this hypothesis, we presented 20 heterosexual men and 20 heterosexual women with erotic and non-erotic images of heterosexual couples and tracked their eye movements during scene presentation. Results supported previous findings that erotic and non-erotic information was visually processed in a different manner by both men and women. Men looked at opposite sex figures significantly longer than did women, and women looked at same sex figures significantly longer than did men. Within-sex analyses suggested that men had a strong visual attention preference for opposite sex figures as compared to same sex figures, whereas women appeared to disperse their attention evenly between opposite and same sex figures. These differences, however, were not limited to erotic images but evidenced in non-erotic images as well. No significant sex differences were found for attention to the contextual region of the scenes. Results were interpreted as potentially supportive of recent studies showing a greater non-specificity of sexual arousal in women. This interpretation assumes there is an erotic valence to images of the sex to which one orients, even when the image is not explicitly erotic. It also assumes a relationship between visual attention and erotic valence.

  7. Visual Processing of Verbal and Nonverbal Stimuli in Adolescents with Reading Disabilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boden, Catherine; Brodeur, Darlene A.

    1999-01-01

    A study investigated whether 32 adolescents with reading disabilities (RD) were slower at processing visual information compared to children of comparable age and reading level, or whether their deficit was specific to the written word. Adolescents with RD demonstrated difficulties in processing rapidly presented verbal and nonverbal visual…

  8. Wingbeat frequency-sweep and visual stimuli for trapping male Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Combinations of female wingbeat acoustic cues and visual cues were evaluated to determine their potential for use in male Aedes aegypti (L.) traps in peridomestic environments. A modified Centers for Disease control (CDC) light trap using a 350-500 Hz frequency-sweep broadcast from a speaker as an a...

  9. Brain network involved in visual processing of movement stimuli used in upper limb robotic training: an fMRI study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nocchi, Federico; Gazzellini, Simone; Grisolia, Carmela; Petrarca, Maurizio; Cannatà, Vittorio; Cappa, Paolo; D'Alessio, Tommaso; Castelli, Enrico

    2012-07-24

    The potential of robot-mediated therapy and virtual reality in neurorehabilitation is becoming of increasing importance. However, there is limited information, using neuroimaging, on the neural networks involved in training with these technologies. This study was intended to detect the brain network involved in the visual processing of movement during robotic training. The main aim was to investigate the existence of a common cerebral network able to assimilate biological (human upper limb) and non-biological (abstract object) movements, hence testing the suitability of the visual non-biological feedback provided by the InMotion2 Robot. A visual functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) task was administered to 22 healthy subjects. The task required observation and retrieval of motor gestures and of the visual feedback used in robotic training. Functional activations of both biological and non-biological movements were examined to identify areas activated in both conditions, along with differential activity in upper limb vs. abstract object trials. Control of response was also tested by administering trials with congruent and incongruent reaching movements. The observation of upper limb and abstract object movements elicited similar patterns of activations according to a caudo-rostral pathway for the visual processing of movements (including specific areas of the occipital, temporal, parietal, and frontal lobes). Similarly, overlapping activations were found for the subsequent retrieval of the observed movement. Furthermore, activations of frontal cortical areas were associated with congruent trials more than with the incongruent ones. This study identified the neural pathway associated with visual processing of movement stimuli used in upper limb robot-mediated training and investigated the brain's ability to assimilate abstract object movements with human motor gestures. In both conditions, activations were elicited in cerebral areas involved in visual

  10. Brain network involved in visual processing of movement stimuli used in upper limb robotic training: an fMRI study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nocchi Federico

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The potential of robot-mediated therapy and virtual reality in neurorehabilitation is becoming of increasing importance. However, there is limited information, using neuroimaging, on the neural networks involved in training with these technologies. This study was intended to detect the brain network involved in the visual processing of movement during robotic training. The main aim was to investigate the existence of a common cerebral network able to assimilate biological (human upper limb and non-biological (abstract object movements, hence testing the suitability of the visual non-biological feedback provided by the InMotion2 Robot. Methods A visual functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI task was administered to 22 healthy subjects. The task required observation and retrieval of motor gestures and of the visual feedback used in robotic training. Functional activations of both biological and non-biological movements were examined to identify areas activated in both conditions, along with differential activity in upper limb vs. abstract object trials. Control of response was also tested by administering trials with congruent and incongruent reaching movements. Results The observation of upper limb and abstract object movements elicited similar patterns of activations according to a caudo-rostral pathway for the visual processing of movements (including specific areas of the occipital, temporal, parietal, and frontal lobes. Similarly, overlapping activations were found for the subsequent retrieval of the observed movement. Furthermore, activations of frontal cortical areas were associated with congruent trials more than with the incongruent ones. Conclusions This study identified the neural pathway associated with visual processing of movement stimuli used in upper limb robot-mediated training and investigated the brain’s ability to assimilate abstract object movements with human motor gestures. In both conditions

  11. Pain and other symptoms of CRPS can be increased by ambiguous visual stimuli--an exploratory study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Jane; Harrison, Simon; Cohen, Helen; McCabe, Candida S; Harris, N; Blake, David R

    2011-01-01

    Visual disturbance, visuo-spatial difficulties, and exacerbations of pain associated with these, have been reported by some patients with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). We investigated the hypothesis that some visual stimuli (i.e. those which produce ambiguous perceptions) can induce pain and other somatic sensations in people with CRPS. Thirty patients with CRPS, 33 with rheumatology conditions and 45 healthy controls viewed two images: a bistable spatial image and a control image. For each image participants recorded the frequency of percept change in 1 min and reported any changes in somatosensation. 73% of patients with CRPS reported increases in pain and/or sensory disturbances including changes in perception of the affected limb, temperature and weight changes and feelings of disorientation after viewing the bistable image. Additionally, 13% of the CRPS group responded with striking worsening of their symptoms which necessitated task cessation. Subjects in the control groups did not report pain increases or somatic sensations. It is possible to worsen the pain suffered in CRPS, and to produce other somatic sensations, by means of a visual stimulus alone. This is a newly described finding. As a clinical and research tool, the experimental method provides a means to generate and exacerbate somaesthetic disturbances, including pain, without moving the affected limb and causing nociceptive interference. This may be particularly useful for brain imaging studies. Copyright © 2010 European Federation of International Association for the Study of Pain Chapters. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Using visual stimuli to explore the social perceptions of ecosystem services in cultural landscapes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    López-Santiago, César A.; Oteros-Rozas, Elisa; Martín-López, Berta

    2014-01-01

    , which are used for herd migration, represent the most outstanding feature of these landscapes. We used visually based landscape interpretation to evaluate social perceptions of ecosystem services provided by the Conquense Drove Road transhumance landscape in Spain. Face-to-face questionnaires (N = 314...... perceptions of 16 ecosystem services supplied by these two landscapes. These 16 services were divided into 3 types: provisioning, such as the production of food and water; regulating, such as the control of climate and disease; and cultural, such as spiritual and recreational benefits. We also identified...... ecosystem services tended to be related to forests. All three types of ecosystem services were more perceived by respondents when a drove road was present in each landscape. However, differences in the visual perception of ecosystem services supply and preference for transhumance landscapes emerged...

  13. Exploring Visual Selective Attention towards Novel Stimuli in Alzheimer's Disease Patients

    OpenAIRE

    Sarah A. Chau; Nathan Herrmann; Moshe Eizenman; Jonathan Chung; Krista L. Lanctôt

    2015-01-01

    Background: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is associated with selective attention impairments, which could contribute to cognitive and functional deficits. Selective attention can be explored through examination of novelty preference. Aims: In this study, we quantified novelty preference in AD patients by measuring visual scanning behaviour using an eye tracking paradigm. Methods: Mild-to-moderate AD patients and elderly controls viewed slides containing novel and repeated images simultaneously. Th...

  14. Visual event-related potentials to biological motion stimuli in autism spectrum disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bletsch, Anke; Krick, Christoph; Siniatchkin, Michael; Jarczok, Tomasz A.; Freitag, Christine M.; Bender, Stephan

    2014-01-01

    Atypical visual processing of biological motion contributes to social impairments in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). However, the exact temporal sequence of deficits of cortical biological motion processing in ASD has not been studied to date. We used 64-channel electroencephalography to study event-related potentials associated with human motion perception in 17 children and adolescents with ASD and 21 typical controls. A spatio-temporal source analysis was performed to assess the brain structures involved in these processes. We expected altered activity already during early stimulus processing and reduced activity during subsequent biological motion specific processes in ASD. In response to both, random and biological motion, the P100 amplitude was decreased suggesting unspecific deficits in visual processing, and the occipito-temporal N200 showed atypical lateralization in ASD suggesting altered hemispheric specialization. A slow positive deflection after 400 ms, reflecting top-down processes, and human motion-specific dipole activation differed slightly between groups, with reduced and more diffuse activation in the ASD-group. The latter could be an indicator of a disrupted neuronal network for biological motion processing in ADS. Furthermore, early visual processing (P100) seems to be correlated to biological motion-specific activation. This emphasizes the relevance of early sensory processing for higher order processing deficits in ASD. PMID:23887808

  15. Memory of opponents is more potent than visual sign stimuli after social hierarchy has been established

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Korzan, W.J.; Höglund, Erik; Watt, M.J.

    2007-01-01

    During agonistic interactions between male Anolis carolinensis, perception of a visual sign stimulus (darkened eyespots) not only inhibits aggression and promotes initial attainment of dominant social status, but also evokes distinct neuroendocrine responses in each opponent. This study was desig......During agonistic interactions between male Anolis carolinensis, perception of a visual sign stimulus (darkened eyespots) not only inhibits aggression and promotes initial attainment of dominant social status, but also evokes distinct neuroendocrine responses in each opponent. This study...... was designed to examine the effect of eyespot manipulation on behavior and social rank during a second interaction between opponents that had previously established a natural dyadic social hierarchy. Prior to a second interaction, eyespots of familiar size-matched combatants were manipulated to reverse...... information conveyed by this visual signal. Eyespots on the previously dominant male were masked with green paint to indicate low aggression and social status. Previously subordinate males had their eyespots permanently marked with black paint to convey high aggression and status. Opponents were then re...

  16. Visual Attention to Pictorial Food Stimuli in Individuals With Night Eating Syndrome: An Eye-Tracking Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baldofski, Sabrina; Lüthold, Patrick; Sperling, Ingmar; Hilbert, Anja

    2018-03-01

    Night eating syndrome (NES) is characterized by excessive evening and/or nocturnal eating episodes. Studies indicate an attentional bias towards food in other eating disorders. For NES, however, evidence of attentional food processing is lacking. Attention towards food and non-food stimuli was compared using eye-tracking in 19 participants with NES and 19 matched controls without eating disorders during a free exploration paradigm and a visual search task. In the free exploration paradigm, groups did not differ in initial fixation position or gaze duration. However, a significant orienting bias to food compared to non-food was found within the NES group, but not in controls. A significant attentional maintenance bias to non-food compared to food was found in both groups. Detection times did not differ between groups in the search task. Only in NES, attention to and faster detection of non-food stimuli were related to higher BMI and more evening eating episodes. The results might indicate an attentional approach-avoidance pattern towards food in NES. However, further studies should clarify the implications of attentional mechanisms for the etiology and maintenance of NES. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  17. The pointillism method for creating stimuli suitable for use in computer-based visual contrast sensitivity testing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, Travis H

    2005-03-30

    An increasingly large corpus of clinical and experimental neuropsychological research has demonstrated the utility of measuring visual contrast sensitivity. Unfortunately, existing means of measuring contrast sensitivity can be prohibitively expensive, difficult to standardize, or lack reliability. Additionally, most existing tests do not allow full control over important characteristics, such as off-angle rotations, waveform, contrast, and spatial frequency. Ideally, researchers could manipulate characteristics and display stimuli in a computerized task designed to meet experimental needs. Thus far, 256-bit color limitation in standard cathode ray tube (CRT) monitors has been preclusive. To this end, the pointillism method (PM) was developed. Using MATLAB software, stimuli are created based on both mathematical and stochastic components, such that differences in regional luminance values of the gradient field closely approximate the desired contrast. This paper describes the method and examines its performance in sine and square-wave image sets from a range of contrast values. Results suggest the utility of the method for most experimental applications. Weaknesses in the current version, the need for validation and reliability studies, and considerations regarding applications are discussed. Syntax for the program is provided in an appendix, and a version of the program independent of MATLAB is available from the author.

  18. A case of epilepsy induced by eating or by visual stimuli of food made of minced meat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mimura, Naoya; Inoue, Takeshi; Shimotake, Akihiro; Matsumoto, Riki; Ikeda, Akio; Takahashi, Ryosuke

    2017-08-31

    We report a 34-year-old woman with eating epilepsy induced not only by eating but also seeing foods made of minced meat. In her early 20s of age, she started having simple partial seizures (SPS) as flashback and epigastric discomfort induced by particular foods. When she was 33 years old, she developed SPS, followed by secondarily generalized tonic-clonic seizure (sGTCS) provoked by eating a hot dog, and 6 months later, only seeing the video of dumpling. We performed video electroencephalogram (EEG) monitoring while she was seeing the video of soup dumpling, which most likely caused sGTCS. Ictal EEG showed rhythmic theta activity in the left frontal to mid-temporal area, followed by generalized seizure pattern. In this patient, seizures were provoked not only by eating particular foods but also by seeing these. This suggests a form of epilepsy involving visual stimuli.

  19. Testing a Poisson counter model for visual identification of briefly presented, mutually confusable single stimuli in pure accuracy tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kyllingsbæk, Søren; Markussen, Bo; Bundesen, Claus

    2012-06-01

    The authors propose and test a simple model of the time course of visual identification of briefly presented, mutually confusable single stimuli in pure accuracy tasks. The model implies that during stimulus analysis, tentative categorizations that stimulus i belongs to category j are made at a constant Poisson rate, v(i, j). The analysis is continued until the stimulus disappears, and the overt response is based on the categorization made the greatest number of times. The model was evaluated by Monte Carlo tests of goodness of fit against observed probability distributions of responses in two extensive experiments and also by quantifications of the information loss of the model compared with the observed data by use of information theoretic measures. The model provided a close fit to individual data on identification of digits and an apparently perfect fit to data on identification of Landolt rings.

  20. Perceived emotion genuineness: normative ratings for popular facial expression stimuli and the development of perceived-as-genuine and perceived-as-fake sets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawel, Amy; Wright, Luke; Irons, Jessica; Dumbleton, Rachael; Palermo, Romina; O'Kearney, Richard; McKone, Elinor

    2017-08-01

    In everyday social interactions, people's facial expressions sometimes reflect genuine emotion (e.g., anger in response to a misbehaving child) and sometimes do not (e.g., smiling for a school photo). There is increasing theoretical interest in this distinction, but little is known about perceived emotion genuineness for existing facial expression databases. We present a new method for rating perceived genuineness using a neutral-midpoint scale (-7 = completely fake; 0 = don't know; +7 = completely genuine) that, unlike previous methods, provides data on both relative and absolute perceptions. Normative ratings from typically developing adults for five emotions (anger, disgust, fear, sadness, and happiness) provide three key contributions. First, the widely used Pictures of Facial Affect (PoFA; i.e., "the Ekman faces") and the Radboud Faces Database (RaFD) are typically perceived as not showing genuine emotion. Also, in the only published set for which the actual emotional states of the displayers are known (via self-report; the McLellan faces), percepts of emotion genuineness often do not match actual emotion genuineness. Second, we provide genuine/fake norms for 558 faces from several sources (PoFA, RaFD, KDEF, Gur, FacePlace, McLellan, News media), including a list of 143 stimuli that are event-elicited (rather than posed) and, congruently, perceived as reflecting genuine emotion. Third, using the norms we develop sets of perceived-as-genuine (from event-elicited sources) and perceived-as-fake (from posed sources) stimuli, matched on sex, viewpoint, eye-gaze direction, and rated intensity. We also outline the many types of research questions that these norms and stimulus sets could be used to answer.

  1. Perceptual Discrimination of Basic Object Features Is Not Facilitated When Priming Stimuli Are Prevented From Reaching Awareness by Means of Visual Masking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peel, Hayden J.; Sperandio, Irene; Laycock, Robin; Chouinard, Philippe A.

    2018-01-01

    Our understanding of how form, orientation and size are processed within and outside of awareness is limited and requires further investigation. Therefore, we investigated whether or not the visual discrimination of basic object features can be influenced by subliminal processing of stimuli presented beforehand. Visual masking was used to render stimuli perceptually invisible. Three experiments examined if visible and invisible primes could facilitate the subsequent feature discrimination of visible targets. The experiments differed in the kind of perceptual discrimination that participants had to make. Namely, participants were asked to discriminate visual stimuli on the basis of their form, orientation, or size. In all three experiments, we demonstrated reliable priming effects when the primes were visible but not when the primes were made invisible. Our findings underscore the importance of conscious awareness in facilitating the perceptual discrimination of basic object features. PMID:29725292

  2. Perceptual Discrimination of Basic Object Features Is Not Facilitated When Priming Stimuli Are Prevented From Reaching Awareness by Means of Visual Masking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peel, Hayden J; Sperandio, Irene; Laycock, Robin; Chouinard, Philippe A

    2018-01-01

    Our understanding of how form, orientation and size are processed within and outside of awareness is limited and requires further investigation. Therefore, we investigated whether or not the visual discrimination of basic object features can be influenced by subliminal processing of stimuli presented beforehand. Visual masking was used to render stimuli perceptually invisible. Three experiments examined if visible and invisible primes could facilitate the subsequent feature discrimination of visible targets. The experiments differed in the kind of perceptual discrimination that participants had to make. Namely, participants were asked to discriminate visual stimuli on the basis of their form, orientation, or size. In all three experiments, we demonstrated reliable priming effects when the primes were visible but not when the primes were made invisible. Our findings underscore the importance of conscious awareness in facilitating the perceptual discrimination of basic object features.

  3. Development of Facial Emotion Recognition in Childhood : Age-related Differences in a Shortened Version of the Facial Expressions of Emotion - Stimuli and Tests

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Coenen, Maraike; Aarnoudse, Ceciel; Huitema, Rients; Braams, Olga; Veenstra, Wencke S.

    2013-01-01

    Introduction Facial emotion recognition is essential for social interaction. The development of emotion recognition abilities is not yet entirely understood (Tonks et al. 2007). Facial emotion recognition emerges gradually, with happiness recognized earliest (Herba & Phillips, 2004). The recognition

  4. Influence of visual stimuli in the sound quality evaluation of loudspeaker systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Karandreas, Theodoros-Alexandros; Christensen, Flemming

    2006-01-01

    There is currently an increasing demand to evaluate sound quality attributes of products and understand to what extend they influence a user's overall impression, since there is usually more than one modality stimulating this evaluation. The present study uses the loudspeakers as an example...... and evaluates the overall impression in relation to hearing and vision.In order to quantify the bias that the image of a loudspeaker has on the sound quality evaluation done by a naive listening panel, loudspeaker sounds of varied degradation are coupled with positively or negatively biasing visual input...

  5. Influence of visual stimuli on the sound quality evaluation of loudspeaker systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Karandreas, Theodoros-Alexandros; Christensen, Flemming

    Product sound quality evaluation aims to identify relevant attributes and assess their influence on the overall auditory impression. Extending this sound specific rationale, the present study evaluates overall impression in relation to hearing and vision, specifically for loudspeakers. In order...... to quantify the bias that the image of a loudspeaker has on the sound quality evaluation of a naive listening panel, loudspeaker sounds of varied degradation are coupled with positively or negatively biasing visual input of actual loudspeakers, and in a separate experiment by pictures of the same loudspeakers....

  6. The magnetic source imaging of pattern reversal stimuli of various visual fields

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang Shuqian; Ye Yufang; Sun Jilin; Wu Jie; Jia Xiuchuan; Li Sumin; Wu Jing; Zhao Huadong; Liu Lianxiang; Wu Yujin

    2006-01-01

    Objective: To have acknowledgement of characteristics of normal volunteers visual evoked fields about full field, vertical half field and quadrant field and their dipole location by magnetoencephalography. Methods: The visual evoked fields of full field, vertical half field and quadrant field were detected with 13 subjects. The latency, dipole strength and dipoles' location on x, y and z axis were analyzed. The exact locations of the dipoles were detected by overlapping on MR images. Results: The isocontour map of M100 of full field stimulation demonstrated two separate sources. The two M100 dipoles had same peak latency and different strength. And for vertical half field and quadrant field stimulation, evoked magnetic fields of M100 distributed contralateral to the stimulated side. The M100 dipoles on the z-axis to the lower quadrant field stimulation were located significantly higher than those to the upper quadrant field stimulation. The Z value median of left upper quadrant was 49.6 (35.1-72.8) mm. The Z value median of left lower quadrant was 53.5 (44.8-76.3) mm. The different of two left quadrant medians, 3.9 mm, was significant (P<0.05). The Z value median of right upper quadrant was 40.0 (34.8-44.6) mm. The Z value median of right lower quadrant was 53.8 (40.6-61.3) mm. The different of two right quadrant medians, 13.8 mm, was also significant (P<0.05). Although each of the visual evoked fields waveforms and dipole locations demonstrated large intra- and inter-individual variations, the dipole of M100 was mainly located at area Brodmann 17, which includes superior lingual gyrus, posterior cuneus-lingual gyrus and inferior cuneus gyms. Conclusion: The M100 of visual evoked fields of pattern reversal stimulation is mainly generated by the neurons of striate cortex of contralateral to the stimulated side, which is at the lateral bottom of the calcarine fissure. (authors)

  7. A Virtual Meal-Making Environment as a Platform to Measure the Effect of Affective Stimuli on Emotional Response and Task Performance in Children with and without Cerebral Palsy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tirosh Emanuel

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available The study examined whether a functional virtual environment (VE may be used to provide affective stimuli (AS that lead to changes in the emotional responses and task performance of children with and without cerebral palsy (CP. Fifteen children with CP and 19 typically developing (TD peers (6 to 12 years prepared seven virtual meals in a predefined order within the Emotional Meal-Maker (EMM, a virtual meal-making VE, run on a 2D video capture VR platform. Six meals included either a negative, positive, or neutral visual stimuli, selected from the International Affective Picture System (IAPS. Heart rate (HR and skin conductance were recorded online, synchronized with stimulus onset. Significant differences were found between groups in task performance and heart rate variability (HRV components, e.g., higher low frequency (LF/ high frequency (HF ratio in CP during the EMM task (U=2517.5, p<001, regardless of type of AS. No significant changes in autonomic responses as a function of AS were found. The implications of these results are discussed.

  8. The dynamic allocation of attention to emotion: simultaneous and independent evidence from the late positive potential and steady state visual evoked potentials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hajcak, Greg; MacNamara, Annmarie; Foti, Dan; Ferri, Jamie; Keil, Andreas

    2013-03-01

    Emotional stimuli capture and hold attention without explicit instruction. The late positive potential (LPP) component of the event related potential can be used to track motivated attention toward emotional stimuli, and is larger for emotional compared to neutral pictures. In the frequency domain, the steady state visual evoked potential (ssVEP) has also been used to track attention to stimuli flickering at a particular frequency. Like the LPP, the ssVEP is also larger for emotional compared to neutral pictures. Prior work suggests that both the LPP and ssVEP are sensitive to "top-down" manipulations of attention, however the LPP and ssVEP have not previously been examined using the same attentional manipulation in the same participants. In the present study, LPP and ssVEP amplitudes were simultaneously elicited by unpleasant and neutral pictures. Partway through picture presentation, participants' attention was directed toward an arousing or non-arousing region of unpleasant pictures. In line with prior work, the LPP was reduced when attention was directed toward non-arousing compared to arousing regions of unpleasant pictures; similar results were observed for the ssVEP. Thus, both electrocortical measures index affective salience and are sensitive to directed (here: spatial) attention. Variation in the LPP and ssVEP was unrelated, suggesting that these measures are not redundant with each other and may capture different neurophysiological aspects of affective stimulus processing and attention. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Remembering the Specific Visual Details of Presented Objects: Neuroimaging Evidence for Effects of Emotion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kensinger, Elizabeth A.; Schacter, Daniel L.

    2007-01-01

    Memories can be retrieved with varied amounts of visual detail, and the emotional content of information can influence the likelihood that visual detail is remembered. In the present fMRI experiment (conducted with 19 adults scanned using a 3T magnet), we examined the neural processes that correspond with recognition of the visual details of…

  10. Modification of response functions of cat visual cortical cells by spatially congruent perturbing stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kabara, J F; Bonds, A B

    2001-12-01

    Responses of cat striate cortical cells to a drifting sinusoidal grating were modified by the superimposition of a second, perturbing grating (PG) that did not excite the cell when presented alone. One consequence of the presence of a PG was a shift in the tuning curves. The orientation tuning of all 41 cells exposed to a PG and the spatial frequency tuning of 83% of the 23 cells exposed to a PG showed statistically significant dislocations of both the response function peak and center of mass from their single grating values. As found in earlier reports, the presence of PGs suppressed responsiveness. However, reductions measured at the single grating optimum orientation or spatial frequency were on average 1.3 times greater than the suppression found at the peak of the response function modified by the presence of the PG. Much of the loss in response seen at the single grating optimum is thus a result of a shift in the tuning function rather than outright suppression. On average orientation shifts were repulsive and proportional (approximately 0.10 deg/deg) to the angle between the perturbing stimulus and the optimum single grating orientation. Shifts in the spatial frequency response function were both attractive and repulsive, resulting in an overall average of zero. For both simple and complex cells, PGs generally broadened orientation response function bandwidths. Similarly, complex cell spatial frequency response function bandwidths broadened. Simple cell spatial frequency response functions usually did not change, and those that did broadened only 4% on average. These data support the hypothesis that additional sinusoidal components in compound stimuli retune cells' response functions for orientation and spatial frequency.

  11. Auditory, visual, and auditory-visual perceptions of emotions by young children with hearing loss versus children with normal hearing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Most, Tova; Michaelis, Hilit

    2012-08-01

    This study aimed to investigate the effect of hearing loss (HL) on emotion-perception ability among young children with and without HL. A total of 26 children 4.0-6.6 years of age with prelingual sensory-neural HL ranging from moderate to profound and 14 children with normal hearing (NH) participated. They were asked to identify happiness, anger, sadness, and fear expressed by an actress when uttering the same neutral nonsense sentence. Their auditory, visual, and auditory-visual perceptions of the emotional content were assessed. The accuracy of emotion perception among children with HL was lower than that of the NH children in all 3 conditions: auditory, visual, and auditory-visual. Perception through the combined auditory-visual mode significantly surpassed the auditory or visual modes alone in both groups, indicating that children with HL utilized the auditory information for emotion perception. No significant differences in perception emerged according to degree of HL. In addition, children with profound HL and cochlear implants did not perform differently from children with less severe HL who used hearing aids. The relatively high accuracy of emotion perception by children with HL may be explained by their intensive rehabilitation, which emphasizes suprasegmental and paralinguistic aspects of verbal communication.

  12. Mapping visual stimuli to perceptual decisions via sparse decoding of mesoscopic neural activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sajda, Paul

    2010-01-01

    In this talk I will describe our work investigating sparse decoding of neural activity, given a realistic mapping of the visual scene to neuronal spike trains generated by a model of primary visual cortex (V1). We use a linear decoder which imposes sparsity via an L1 norm. The decoder can be viewed as a decoding neuron (linear summation followed by a sigmoidal nonlinearity) in which there are relatively few non-zero synaptic weights. We find: (1) the best decoding performance is for a representation that is sparse in both space and time, (2) decoding of a temporal code results in better performance than a rate code and is also a better fit to the psychophysical data, (3) the number of neurons required for decoding increases monotonically as signal-to-noise in the stimulus decreases, with as little as 1% of the neurons required for decoding at the highest signal-to-noise levels, and (4) sparse decoding results in a more accurate decoding of the stimulus and is a better fit to psychophysical performance than a distributed decoding, for example one imposed by an L2 norm. We conclude that sparse coding is well-justified from a decoding perspective in that it results in a minimum number of neurons and maximum accuracy when sparse representations can be decoded from the neural dynamics.

  13. Exploring Visual Selective Attention towards Novel Stimuli in Alzheimer's Disease Patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah A. Chau

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Background: Alzheimer's disease (AD is associated with selective attention impairments, which could contribute to cognitive and functional deficits. Selective attention can be explored through examination of novelty preference. Aims: In this study, we quantified novelty preference in AD patients by measuring visual scanning behaviour using an eye tracking paradigm. Methods: Mild-to-moderate AD patients and elderly controls viewed slides containing novel and repeated images simultaneously. The outcome measure was time spent on specific images, with novelty preference defined by greater relative fixation time (RFT on novel versus repeated images. Cognitive status (Standardized Mini-Mental State Examination, SMMSE and attention (Digit Span, DS were also measured. Results: AD patients (age 79.2 ± 6.7 years, SMMSE 22.2 ± 4.0, n = 41 and controls (age 76.2 ± 6.4 years, SMMSE 28.1 ± 2.0, n = 24 were similar in age, education and sex. Compared with controls, AD patients had lower RFT on novel than on repeated images (F1,63 = 11.18, p = 0.001. Further, reduced RFT was associated with lower scores on SMMSE (r63 = 0.288, p = 0.020 and DS (r63 = 0.269, p = 0.030. Within individuals, novelty preference was detected in 92.3% of patients and in 100% of controls. Conclusion: These findings suggest that novelty preference, measured by visual scanning behaviour, can differentiate cognitively healthy and impaired people and may offer a nonverbal, less cognitively demanding method of assessing selective attention.

  14. Exploring Visual Selective Attention towards Novel Stimuli in Alzheimer's Disease Patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chau, Sarah A; Herrmann, Nathan; Eizenman, Moshe; Chung, Jonathan; Lanctôt, Krista L

    2015-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is associated with selective attention impairments, which could contribute to cognitive and functional deficits. Selective attention can be explored through examination of novelty preference. In this study, we quantified novelty preference in AD patients by measuring visual scanning behaviour using an eye tracking paradigm. Mild-to-moderate AD patients and elderly controls viewed slides containing novel and repeated images simultaneously. The outcome measure was time spent on specific images, with novelty preference defined by greater relative fixation time (RFT) on novel versus repeated images. Cognitive status (Standardized Mini-Mental State Examination, SMMSE) and attention (Digit Span, DS) were also measured. AD patients (age 79.2 ± 6.7 years, SMMSE 22.2 ± 4.0, n = 41) and controls (age 76.2 ± 6.4 years, SMMSE 28.1 ± 2.0, n = 24) were similar in age, education and sex. Compared with controls, AD patients had lower RFT on novel than on repeated images (F1,63 = 11.18, p = 0.001). Further, reduced RFT was associated with lower scores on SMMSE (r63 = 0.288, p = 0.020) and DS (r63 = 0.269, p = 0.030). Within individuals, novelty preference was detected in 92.3% of patients and in 100% of controls. These findings suggest that novelty preference, measured by visual scanning behaviour, can differentiate cognitively healthy and impaired people and may offer a nonverbal, less cognitively demanding method of assessing selective attention.

  15. Functional architecture of visual emotion recognition ability: A latent variable approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Gary J; Lefevre, Carmen E; Young, Andrew W

    2016-05-01

    Emotion recognition has been a focus of considerable attention for several decades. However, despite this interest, the underlying structure of individual differences in emotion recognition ability has been largely overlooked and thus is poorly understood. For example, limited knowledge exists concerning whether recognition ability for one emotion (e.g., disgust) generalizes to other emotions (e.g., anger, fear). Furthermore, it is unclear whether emotion recognition ability generalizes across modalities, such that those who are good at recognizing emotions from the face, for example, are also good at identifying emotions from nonfacial cues (such as cues conveyed via the body). The primary goal of the current set of studies was to address these questions through establishing the structure of individual differences in visual emotion recognition ability. In three independent samples (Study 1: n = 640; Study 2: n = 389; Study 3: n = 303), we observed that the ability to recognize visually presented emotions is based on different sources of variation: a supramodal emotion-general factor, supramodal emotion-specific factors, and face- and within-modality emotion-specific factors. In addition, we found evidence that general intelligence and alexithymia were associated with supramodal emotion recognition ability. Autism-like traits, empathic concern, and alexithymia were independently associated with face-specific emotion recognition ability. These results (a) provide a platform for further individual differences research on emotion recognition ability, (b) indicate that differentiating levels within the architecture of emotion recognition ability is of high importance, and (c) show that the capacity to understand expressions of emotion in others is linked to broader affective and cognitive processes. (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  16. From Specificity to Sensitivity: Affective states modulate visual working memory for emotional expressive faces

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas eMaran

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Previous findings suggest that visual working memory preferentially remembers angry looking faces. However, the meaning of facial actions is construed in relation to context. To date, there are no studies investigating the role of perceiver-based context when processing emotional cues in visual working memory. To explore the influence of affective context on visual working memory for faces, we conducted two experiments using both a visual working memory task for emotionally expressive faces and a mood induction procedure. Affective context was manipulated by unpleasant (Experiment 1 and pleasant (Experiment 2 IAPS pictures in order to induce an affect high in motivational intensity (defensive or appetitive, respectively compared to a low arousal control condition. Results indicated specifically increased sensitivity of visual working memory for angry looking faces in the neutral condition. Enhanced visual working memory for angry faces was prevented by inducing affects of high motivational intensity. In both experiments, affective states led to a switch from specific enhancement of angry expressions in visual working memory to an equally sensitive representation of all emotional expressions. Our findings demonstrate that emotional expressions are of different behavioral relevance for the receiver depending on the affective context, supporting a functional organization of visual working memory along with flexible resource allocation. In visual working memory, stimulus processing adjusts to situational requirements and transitions from a specifically prioritizing default mode in predictable environments to a sensitive, hypervigilant mode in exposure to emotional events.

  17. State of expectancy modulates the neural response to visual food stimuli in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malik, Saima; McGlone, Francis; Dagher, Alain

    2011-04-01

    Human brain imaging studies demonstrate distributed activation of limbic, paralimbic and sensory systems to food and food-associated cues. Activity in this circuit may be modulated by internal factors, such as hunger, and cognitive factors. Anticipation to eat is one such factor, which likely impacts consummatory behavior. Here, the neural substrates of food expectancy were identified in 10 healthy male participants who underwent two whole-brain functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging scans on separate days. Fasted subjects viewed images of food and scenery, in two counterbalanced states. During one condition, subjects were 'expecting' to eat right after the scan and during the other they were 'not expecting' to eat for 1 h after the scan. Food pictures compared with scenery yielded bilateral activation in visual areas as well as in the left insula and amygdala in both conditions. The left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, hippocampus and putamen were additionally activated in the 'not expecting' condition while right orbitofrontal cortex activity was enhanced in the 'expecting' condition. These data suggest that cognitive manipulations affect the response to food cues in the prefrontal cortex, in areas involved in the planning and control of motivated behaviors, while the amygdala and insula responded equally in both conditions, consistent with a more basic role in homeostatically driven appetitive behavior. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Flexible responses to visual and olfactory stimuli by foraging Manduca sexta: larval nutrition affects adult behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goyret, Joaquín; Kelber, Almut; Pfaff, Michael; Raguso, Robert A

    2009-08-07

    Here, we show that the consequences of deficient micronutrient (beta-carotene) intake during larval stages of Manduca sexta are carried across metamorphosis, affecting adult behaviour. Our manipulation of larval diet allowed us to examine how developmental plasticity impacts the interplay between visual and olfactory inputs on adult foraging behaviour. Larvae of M. sexta were reared on natural (Nicotiana tabacum) and artificial laboratory diets containing different concentrations of beta-carotene (standard diet, low beta-carotene, high beta-carotene and cornmeal). This vitamin-A precursor has been shown to be crucial for photoreception sensitivity in the retina of M. sexta. After completing development, post-metamorphosis, starved adults were presented with artificial feeders that could be either scented or unscented. Regardless of their larval diet, adult moths fed with relatively high probabilities on scented feeders. When feeders were unscented, moths reared on tobacco were more responsive than moths reared on beta-carotene-deficient artificial diets. Strikingly, moths reared on artificial diets supplemented with increasing amounts of beta-carotene (low beta and high beta) showed increasing probabilities of response to scentless feeders. We discuss these results in relationship to the use of complex, multi-modal sensory information by foraging animals.

  19. Visual stimuli in intervention approaches for pre-schoolers diagnosed with phonological delay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pedro, Cassandra Ferreira; Lousada, Marisa; Hall, Andreia; Jesus, Luis M T

    2018-04-01

    The aim of this study was to develop and content validate specific speech and language intervention picture cards: The Letter-Sound (L&S) cards. The present study was also focused on assessing the influence of these cards on letter-sound correspondences and speech sound production. An expert panel of six speech and language therapists analysed and discussed the L&S cards based on several criteria previously established. A Speech and Language Therapist carried out a 6-week therapeutic intervention with a group of seven Portuguese phonologically delayed pre-schoolers aged 5;3 to 6;5. The modified Bland-Altman method revealed good agreement among evaluators, that is the majority of the values was between the agreement limits. Additional outcome measures were collected before and after the therapeutic intervention process. Results indicate that the L&S cards facilitate the acquisition of letter-sound correspondences. Regarding speech sound production, some improvements were also observed at word level. The L&S cards are therefore likely to give phonetic cues, which are crucial for the correct production of therapeutic targets. These visual cues seemed to have helped children with phonological delay develop the above-mentioned skills.

  20. Reactivity of dogs' brain oscillations to visual stimuli measured with non-invasive electroencephalography.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miiamaaria V Kujala

    Full Text Available Studying cognition of domestic dogs has gone through a renaissance within the last decades. However, although the behavioral studies of dogs are beginning to be common in the field of animal cognition, the neural events underlying cognition remain unknown. Here, we employed a non-invasive electroencephalography, with adhesive electrodes attached to the top of the skin, to measure brain activity of from 8 domestic dogs (Canis familiaris while they stayed still to observe photos of dog and human faces. Spontaneous oscillatory activity of the dogs, peaking in the sensors over the parieto-occipital cortex, was suppressed statistically significantly during visual task compared with resting activity at the frequency of 15-30 Hz. Moreover, a stimulus-induced low-frequency (~2-6 Hz suppression locked to the stimulus onset was evident at the frontal sensors, possibly reflecting a motor rhythm guiding the exploratory eye movements. The results suggest task-related reactivity of the macroscopic oscillatory activity in the dog brain. To our knowledge, the study is the first to reveal non-invasively measured reactivity of brain electrophysiological oscillations in healthy dogs, and it has been based purely on positive operant conditional training, without the need for movement restriction or medication.

  1. Face Recognition, Musical Appraisal, and Emotional Crossmodal Bias

    OpenAIRE

    Invitto, Sara; Calcagn?, Antonio; Mignozzi, Arianna; Scardino, Rosanna; Piraino, Giulia; Turchi, Daniele; De Feudis, Irio; Brunetti, Antonio; Bevilacqua, Vitoantonio; de Tommaso, Marina

    2017-01-01

    Recent research on the crossmodal integration of visual and auditory perception suggests that evaluations of emotional information in one sensory modality may tend toward the emotional value generated in another sensory modality. This implies that the emotions elicited by musical stimuli can influence the perception of emotional stimuli presented in other sensory modalities, through a top-down process. The aim of this work was to investigate how crossmodal perceptual processing influences emo...

  2. Selective attention to spatial and non-spatial visual stimuli is affected differentially by age: Effects on event-related brain potentials and performance data

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Talsma, D.; Kok, Albert; Ridderinkhof, K. Richard

    2006-01-01

    To assess selective attention processes in young and old adults, behavioral and event-related potential (ERP) measures were recorded. Streams of visual stimuli were presented from left or right locations (Experiment 1) or from a central location and comprising two different spatial frequencies

  3. Attending and Inhibiting Stimuli That Match the Contents of Visual Working Memory: Evidence from Eye Movements and Pupillometry (2015 GDR Vision meeting)

    OpenAIRE

    Mathôt, Sebastiaan; Heusden, Elle van; Stigchel, Stefan Van der

    2015-01-01

    Slides for: Mathôt, S., & Van Heusden, E., & Van der Stigchel, S. (2015, Dec). Attending and Inhibiting Stimuli That Match the Contents of Visual Working Memory: Evidence from Eye Movements and Pupillometry. Talk presented at the GDR Vision Meething, Grenoble, France.

  4. Activations in temporal areas using visual and auditory naming stimuli: A language fMRI study in temporal lobe epilepsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzálvez, Gloria G; Trimmel, Karin; Haag, Anja; van Graan, Louis A; Koepp, Matthias J; Thompson, Pamela J; Duncan, John S

    2016-12-01

    Verbal fluency functional MRI (fMRI) is used for predicting language deficits after anterior temporal lobe resection (ATLR) for temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE), but primarily engages frontal lobe areas. In this observational study we investigated fMRI paradigms using visual and auditory stimuli, which predominately involve language areas resected during ATLR. Twenty-three controls and 33 patients (20 left (LTLE), 13 right (RTLE)) were assessed using three fMRI paradigms: verbal fluency, auditory naming with a contrast of auditory reversed speech; picture naming with a contrast of scrambled pictures and blurred faces. Group analysis showed bilateral temporal activations for auditory naming and picture naming. Correcting for auditory and visual input (by subtracting activations resulting from auditory reversed speech and blurred pictures/scrambled faces respectively) resulted in left-lateralised activations for patients and controls, which was more pronounced for LTLE compared to RTLE patients. Individual subject activations at a threshold of T>2.5, extent >10 voxels, showed that verbal fluency activated predominantly the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) in 90% of LTLE, 92% of RTLE, and 65% of controls, compared to right IFG activations in only 15% of LTLE and RTLE and 26% of controls. Middle temporal (MTG) or superior temporal gyrus (STG) activations were seen on the left in 30% of LTLE, 23% of RTLE, and 52% of controls, and on the right in 15% of LTLE, 15% of RTLE, and 35% of controls. Auditory naming activated temporal areas more frequently than did verbal fluency (LTLE: 93%/73%; RTLE: 92%/58%; controls: 82%/70% (left/right)). Controlling for auditory input resulted in predominantly left-sided temporal activations. Picture naming resulted in temporal lobe activations less frequently than did auditory naming (LTLE 65%/55%; RTLE 53%/46%; controls 52%/35% (left/right)). Controlling for visual input had left-lateralising effects. Auditory and picture naming activated

  5. Preattentive processing of audio-visual emotional signals

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Föcker, J.; Gondan, Matthias; Röder, B.

    2011-01-01

    Previous research has shown that redundant information in faces and voices leads to faster emotional categorization compared to incongruent emotional information even when attending to only one modality. The aim of the present study was to test whether these crossmodal effects are predominantly d...

  6. Animation, A Neuroplasticart* Media of Visual Thinking and Emotions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Carpe Pérez, Inmaculada Concepción

    2017-01-01

    At the Animated Learning Lab, Denmark, we use animation as a social emotional learning media to practice emotional intelligence and the neuroplasticity of our brain. We connect cognitive, affective neuroscience with animation through the creative process of making animated films. We obtain a plea...

  7. Depression, not PTSD, is associated with attentional biases for emotional visual cues in early traumatized individuals with PTSD

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charlotte Elisabeth Wittekind

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Using variants of the emotional Stroop task (EST, a large number of studies demonstrated attentional biases in individuals with PTSD across different types of trauma. However, the specificity and robustness of the emotional Stroop effect in PTSD were questioned recently. In particular, the paradigm cannot disentangle underlying cognitive mechanisms. Transgenerational studies provide evidence that consequences of trauma are not limited to the traumatized people, but extend to close relatives, especially the children. To further investigate attentional biases in PTSD and to shed light on the underlying cognitive mechanism(s, a spatial-cueing paradigm with pictures of different emotional valence (neutral, anxiety, depression, trauma was administered to individuals displaced as children during World War II with (n = 22 and without PTSD (n = 26 as well as to nontraumatized controls (n = 22. To assess whether parental PTSD is associated with biased information processing in children, each one adult offspring was also included in the study. PTSD was not associated with attentional biases for trauma-related stimuli. There was no evidence for a transgenerational transmission of biased information processing. However, when samples were regrouped based on current depression, a reduced inhibition of return (IOR effect emerged for depression-related cues. IOR refers to the phenomenon that with longer intervals between cue and target the validity effect is reversed: uncued locations are associated with shorter and cued locations with longer RTs. The results diverge from EST studies and demonstrate that findings on attentional biases yield equivocal results across different paradigms. Attentional biases for trauma-related material may only appear for verbal but not for visual stimuli in an elderly population with childhood trauma with PTSD. Future studies should more closely investigate whether findings from younger trauma populations also manifest in older

  8. Skin-transmitted pathogens and the heebie jeebies: evidence for a subclass of disgust stimuli that evoke a qualitatively unique emotional response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blake, Khandis R; Yih, Jennifer; Zhao, Kun; Sung, Billy; Harmon-Jones, Cindy

    2017-09-01

    Skin-transmitted pathogens have threatened humans since ancient times. We investigated whether skin-transmitted pathogens were a subclass of disgust stimuli that evoked an emotional response that was related to, but distinct from, disgust and fear. We labelled this response "the heebie jeebies". In Study 1, coding of 76 participants' experiences of disgust, fear, and the heebie jeebies showed that the heebie jeebies was elicited by unique stimuli which produced skin-crawling sensations and an urge to protect the skin. In Experiment 2,350 participants' responses to skin-transmitted pathogen, fear-inducing, and disgust-inducing vignettes showed that the vignettes elicited sensations and urges which loaded onto heebie jeebies, fear, and disgust factors, respectively. Experiment 3 largely replicated findings from Experiment 2 using video stimuli (178 participants). Results are consistent with the notion that skin-transmitted pathogens are a subclass of disgust stimuli which motivate behaviours that are functionally consistent with disgust yet qualitatively distinct.

  9. No impact of affective person knowledge on visual awareness : Evidence from binocular rivalry and continuous flash suppression

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stein, T.; Grubb, C.; Bertrand, M.; Suh, S.M.; Verosky, S.C.

    2017-01-01

    Stimuli with intrinsic emotional value, like emotional faces, and stimuli associated with reward and punishment are often prioritized in visual awareness relative to neutral stimuli. Recently, Anderson, Siegel, Bliss-Moreau, and Barrett (2011) demonstrated that simply associating a face with

  10. Why we haven't died out yet: changes in women's mimic reactions to visual erotic stimuli during their menstrual cycles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mass, Reinhard; Hölldorfer, Marion; Moll, Bettina; Bauer, Renate; Wolf, Karsten

    2009-02-01

    From an evolutionary point of view, female sexual desire contributes greatly to the success of reproduction by coordinating sexual behavior. It is known that female sexual desire fluctuates with the menstrual cycle. However, little is known about the role of basic emotions during menstrual cycle. We designed a facial EMG study to investigate facial expressions of joy during the menstrual cycle. 35 healthy women underwent 2 EMG sessions (T1 and T2). T1 took place in the follicular phase, T2 in the luteal phase. IAPS pictures of nude men (erotic stimuli) or of animals (control stimuli) were presented at both sessions. The activity of musculus zygomaticus major (responsible for expressing joy) was measured. We tested the hypothesis that zygomaticus activity is more pronounced in the follicular phase than in the luteal phase. The main result was that during the follicular phase, significantly more zygomaticus reactions were observed than during the luteal phase. This effect was restricted only to erotic stimuli. We concluded that an increased positive emotional responsiveness to erotic stimuli during the follicular phase is an important precondition for the probability of sexual activity during the conceptive days and thus for the success of reproduction.

  11. Gender-Specificity of Initial and Controlled Visual Attention to Sexual Stimuli in Androphilic Women and Gynephilic Men.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samantha J Dawson

    Full Text Available Research across groups and methods consistently finds a gender difference in patterns of specificity of genital response; however, empirically supported mechanisms to explain this difference are lacking. The information-processing model of sexual arousal posits that automatic and controlled cognitive processes are requisite for the generation of sexual responses. Androphilic women's gender-nonspecific response patterns may be the result of sexually-relevant cues that are common to both preferred and nonpreferred genders capturing attention and initiating an automatic sexual response, whereas men's attentional system may be biased towards the detection and response to sexually-preferred cues only. In the present study, we used eye tracking to assess visual attention to sexually-preferred and nonpreferred cues in a sample of androphilic women and gynephilic men. Results support predictions from the information-processing model regarding gendered processing of sexual stimuli in men and women. Men's initial attention patterns were gender-specific, whereas women's were nonspecific. In contrast, both men and women exhibited gender-specific patterns of controlled attention, although this effect was stronger among men. Finally, measures of attention and self-reported attraction were positively related in both men and women. These findings are discussed in the context of the information-processing model and evolutionary mechanisms that may have evolved to promote gendered attentional systems.

  12. Gender-Specificity of Initial and Controlled Visual Attention to Sexual Stimuli in Androphilic Women and Gynephilic Men

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawson, Samantha J.; Chivers, Meredith L.

    2016-01-01

    Research across groups and methods consistently finds a gender difference in patterns of specificity of genital response; however, empirically supported mechanisms to explain this difference are lacking. The information-processing model of sexual arousal posits that automatic and controlled cognitive processes are requisite for the generation of sexual responses. Androphilic women’s gender-nonspecific response patterns may be the result of sexually-relevant cues that are common to both preferred and nonpreferred genders capturing attention and initiating an automatic sexual response, whereas men’s attentional system may be biased towards the detection and response to sexually-preferred cues only. In the present study, we used eye tracking to assess visual attention to sexually-preferred and nonpreferred cues in a sample of androphilic women and gynephilic men. Results support predictions from the information-processing model regarding gendered processing of sexual stimuli in men and women. Men’s initial attention patterns were gender-specific, whereas women’s were nonspecific. In contrast, both men and women exhibited gender-specific patterns of controlled attention, although this effect was stronger among men. Finally, measures of attention and self-reported attraction were positively related in both men and women. These findings are discussed in the context of the information-processing model and evolutionary mechanisms that may have evolved to promote gendered attentional systems. PMID:27088358

  13. The effect of spatio-temporal distance between visual stimuli on information processing in children with Specific Language Impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dispaldro, Marco; Corradi, Nicola

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to evaluate whether children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI) have a deficit in processing a sequence of two visual stimuli (S1 and S2) presented at different inter-stimulus intervals and in different spatial locations. In particular, the core of this study is to investigate whether S1 identification is disrupted due to a retroactive interference of S2. To this aim, two experiments were planned in which children with SLI and children with typical development (TD), matched by age and non-verbal IQ, were compared (Experiment 1: SLI n=19; TD n=19; Experiment 2: SLI n=16; TD n=16). Results show group differences in the ability to identify a single stimulus surrounded by flankers (Baseline level). Moreover, children with SLI show a stronger negative interference of S2, both for temporal and spatial modulation. These results are discussed in the light of an attentional processing limitation in children with SLI. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. A Comparative Study on Emotional Intelligence and Mental Toughness for Visually Impaired Male and Female Athletes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robabeh Rostami

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Background: Nowadays researches find that athlete’s performance is affected not only by physical fitness, technical and tactical factors, but also mental and emotional features can affect sport performance. Objective: Hence, the aim of this study is examined the dimensions of emotional intelligence and mental toughness visually impaired male and female athletes. Methodology: This was a causal-comparative study, where the statistical population included 300 visually impaired male and female athletes taking part in the First National Cultural- Sports Festival featuring goalball, tug-of-war, track and field, swimming, and powerlifting. Using a smaple of convenience, 70 participants completed the Sheard, Golby, and van Wersch-questionnaire on mental toughness in three dimensions of  “confidence” “ control” and “constancy”, and the Petrides and Furnham’s questionnaire in four dimensions of “ understanding emotions”, “ social skills” “ controlling emotions” and “ optimism”. Results: Analysis of variables using an independent t-test showed significant differences in the dimensions of controlling emotions, understanding emotions, and social skills in favor of visually impaired sportswomen. However, there were no significant differences between the genders for optimism in the emotional intelligence questionnaire, and in mental toughness questionnaire. Conclusions: Visually impaired individuals pass through stages of emotional intelligence in a different way compared to those with normal vision. Moreover, motor skills and sports for the visually impaired are of a different kind. Moreover, our results showed that women benefited more from participating in physical and sporting activities than men did. Therefore, we recommend that authorities and people involved in sports for the visually impaired should make more use of exercises in psychological skills, along with technical and tactical ones, for visually impaired male

  15. Behold the voice of wrath: Cross-modal modulation of visual attention by anger prosody

    OpenAIRE

    Brosch, Tobias; Grandjean, Didier Maurice; Sander, David; Scherer, Klaus R.

    2008-01-01

    Emotionally relevant stimuli are prioritized in human information processing. It has repeatedly been shown that selective spatial attention is modulated by the emotional content of a stimulus. Until now, studies investigating this phenomenon have only examined withinmodality effects, most frequently using pictures of emotional stimuli to modulate visual attention. In this study, we used simultaneously presented utterances with emotional and neutral prosody as cues for a visually presented tar...

  16. Use of Sine Shaped High-Frequency Rhythmic Visual Stimuli Patterns for SSVEP Response Analysis and Fatigue Rate Evaluation in Normal Subjects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahmadreza Keihani

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Background: Recent EEG-SSVEP signal based BCI studies have used high frequency square pulse visual stimuli to reduce subjective fatigue. However, the effect of total harmonic distortion (THD has not been considered. Compared to CRT and LCD monitors, LED screen displays high-frequency wave with better refresh rate. In this study, we present high frequency sine wave simple and rhythmic patterns with low THD rate by LED to analyze SSVEP responses and evaluate subjective fatigue in normal subjects.Materials and Methods: We used patterns of 3-sequence high-frequency sine waves (25, 30, and 35 Hz to design our visual stimuli. Nine stimuli patterns, 3 simple (repetition of each of above 3 frequencies e.g., P25-25-25 and 6 rhythmic (all of the frequencies in 6 different sequences e.g., P25-30-35 were chosen. A hardware setup with low THD rate (<0.1% was designed to present these patterns on LED. Twenty two normal subjects (aged 23–30 (25 ± 2.1 yrs were enrolled. Visual analog scale (VAS was used for subjective fatigue evaluation after presentation of each stimulus pattern. PSD, CCA, and LASSO methods were employed to analyze SSVEP responses. The data including SSVEP features and fatigue rate for different visual stimuli patterns were statistically evaluated.Results: All 9 visual stimuli patterns elicited SSVEP responses. Overall, obtained accuracy rates were 88.35% for PSD and > 90% for CCA and LASSO (for TWs > 1 s. High frequency rhythmic patterns group with low THD rate showed higher accuracy rate (99.24% than simple patterns group (98.48%. Repeated measure ANOVA showed significant difference between rhythmic pattern features (P < 0.0005. Overall, there was no significant difference between the VAS of rhythmic [3.85 ± 2.13] compared to the simple patterns group [3.96 ± 2.21], (P = 0.63. Rhythmic group had lower within group VAS variation (min = P25-30-35 [2.90 ± 2.45], max = P35-25-30 [4.81 ± 2.65] as well as least individual pattern VAS (P25

  17. Women in the midluteal phase of the menstrual cycle have difficulty suppressing the processing of negative emotional stimuli: An event-related potential study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lusk, Bethany R; Carr, Andrea R; Ranson, Valerie A; Felmingham, Kim L

    2017-08-01

    Emotion regulation deficits have been implicated in anxiety and depressive disorders, and these internalising disorders are more prevalent in women than men. Few electrophysiological studies have investigated sex differences in emotional reactivity and emotion regulation controlling for menstrual phase. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded from 28 early follicular women, 29 midluteal women, and 27 men who completed an emotion regulation task. A novel finding of increased N2 amplitude during suppression was found for midluteal women compared with men. These findings suggest midluteal women may be significantly less able to suppress cortical processing of negative stimuli compared to men. This ERP finding was complemented by behavioral ratings data which revealed that while both early follicular and midluteal women reported more distress than men, midluteal women also reported greater effort when suppressing their responses than men. P1 and N1 components were increased in midluteal women compared to men regardless of instructional set, suggesting greater early attentional processing. No sex or menstrual phase differences were apparent in P3 or LPP. This study underscores the importance of considering menstrual phase when examining sex differences in the cortical processing of emotion regulation and demonstrates that midluteal women may have deficits in down-regulating their neural and behavioural responses.

  18. Decoding facial blends of emotion: visual field, attentional and hemispheric biases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ross, Elliott D; Shayya, Luay; Champlain, Amanda; Monnot, Marilee; Prodan, Calin I

    2013-12-01

    Most clinical research assumes that modulation of facial expressions is lateralized predominantly across the right-left hemiface. However, social psychological research suggests that facial expressions are organized predominantly across the upper-lower face. Because humans learn to cognitively control facial expression for social purposes, the lower face may display a false emotion, typically a smile, to enable approach behavior. In contrast, the upper face may leak a person's true feeling state by producing a brief facial blend of emotion, i.e. a different emotion on the upper versus lower face. Previous studies from our laboratory have shown that upper facial emotions are processed preferentially by the right hemisphere under conditions of directed attention if facial blends of emotion are presented tachistoscopically to the mid left and right visual fields. This paper explores how facial blends are processed within the four visual quadrants. The results, combined with our previous research, demonstrate that lower more so than upper facial emotions are perceived best when presented to the viewer's left and right visual fields just above the horizontal axis. Upper facial emotions are perceived best when presented to the viewer's left visual field just above the horizontal axis under conditions of directed attention. Thus, by gazing at a person's left ear, which also avoids the social stigma of eye-to-eye contact, one's ability to decode facial expressions should be enhanced. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  19. CONSUMER’S EMOTIONAL INFLUENCE & VISUAL MERCHANDISING EFFECTS: SHOPPING MALLS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ranjan Upadhyaya

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The research empirically examines the impact of emotional influence in evaluation and purchase decision with special reference to goods sold in shopping malls. Various factors which influence the consumer decision, such as ease offered by retailer to customers in defining, selecting and purchasing the product, brand value, utility of the product, reference group, value for money, advertising and its appeal etc are being critically analyzed and its impact is being empirically assessed. Apart from all the factors, emotion play a critical role in consumer decisionmaking and it strongly influence the consumer’s choices. Very little efforts have been done in the past in order to understand the source of emotional arousal in purchase decision. Emotions are subject to change and it is subjective in nature. Emotions silently and unconsciously drive the consumer’s decision at the destiny, where customers intend to go. Emotions are not necessarily permanent and it varies from customer to customer and even for the same customer, it is different, in different situation, so in order to be successful in this hyper competitive business era, organizations need to leverage emotions for business success, for better brand value, customer satisfaction and employee management

  20. Effect of Acting Experience on Emotion Expression and Recognition in Voice: Non-Actors Provide Better Stimuli than Expected.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jürgens, Rebecca; Grass, Annika; Drolet, Matthis; Fischer, Julia

    Both in the performative arts and in emotion research, professional actors are assumed to be capable of delivering emotions comparable to spontaneous emotional expressions. This study examines the effects of acting training on vocal emotion depiction and recognition. We predicted that professional actors express emotions in a more realistic fashion than non-professional actors. However, professional acting training may lead to a particular speech pattern; this might account for vocal expressions by actors that are less comparable to authentic samples than the ones by non-professional actors. We compared 80 emotional speech tokens from radio interviews with 80 re-enactments by professional and inexperienced actors, respectively. We analyzed recognition accuracies for emotion and authenticity ratings and compared the acoustic structure of the speech tokens. Both play-acted conditions yielded similar recognition accuracies and possessed more variable pitch contours than the spontaneous recordings. However, professional actors exhibited signs of different articulation patterns compared to non-trained speakers. Our results indicate that for emotion research, emotional expressions by professional actors are not better suited than those from non-actors.

  1. Chewing Stimulation Reduces Appetite Ratings and Attentional Bias toward Visual Food Stimuli in Healthy-Weight Individuals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ikeda, Akitsu; Miyamoto, Jun J; Usui, Nobuo; Taira, Masato; Moriyama, Keiji

    2018-01-01

    Based on the theory of incentive sensitization, the exposure to food stimuli sensitizes the brain's reward circuits and enhances attentional bias toward food. Therefore, reducing attentional bias to food could possibly be beneficial in preventing impulsive eating. The importance of chewing has been increasingly implicated as one of the methods for reducing appetite, however, no studies to investigate the effect of chewing on attentional bias to food. In this study, we investigated whether chewing stimulation (i.e., chewing tasteless gum) reduces attentional bias to food as well as an actual feeding (i.e., ingesting a standardized meal) does. We measured reaction time, gaze direction and gaze duration to assess attentional bias toward food images in pairs of food and non-food images that were presented in a visual probe task (Experiment 1, n = 21) and/or eye-tracking task (Experiment 2, n = 20). We also measured appetite ratings using visual analog scale. In addition, we conducted a control study in which the same number of participants performed the identical tasks to Experiments 1 and 2, but the participants did not perform sham feeding with gum-chewing/actual feeding between tasks and they took a rest. Two-way ANOVA revealed that after actual feeding, subjective ratings of hunger, preoccupation with food, and desire to eat significantly decreased, whereas fullness significantly increased. Sham feeding showed the same trends, but to a lesser degree. Results of the visual probe task in Experiment 1 showed that both sham feeding and actual feeding reduced reaction time bias significantly. Eye-tracking data showed that both sham and actual feeding resulted in significant reduction in gaze direction bias, indexing initial attentional orientation. Gaze duration bias was unaffected. In both control experiments, one-way ANOVAs showed no significant differences between immediately before and after the resting state for any of the appetite ratings, reaction time bias, gaze

  2. Chewing Stimulation Reduces Appetite Ratings and Attentional Bias toward Visual Food Stimuli in Healthy-Weight Individuals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ikeda, Akitsu; Miyamoto, Jun J.; Usui, Nobuo; Taira, Masato; Moriyama, Keiji

    2018-01-01

    Based on the theory of incentive sensitization, the exposure to food stimuli sensitizes the brain’s reward circuits and enhances attentional bias toward food. Therefore, reducing attentional bias to food could possibly be beneficial in preventing impulsive eating. The importance of chewing has been increasingly implicated as one of the methods for reducing appetite, however, no studies to investigate the effect of chewing on attentional bias to food. In this study, we investigated whether chewing stimulation (i.e., chewing tasteless gum) reduces attentional bias to food as well as an actual feeding (i.e., ingesting a standardized meal) does. We measured reaction time, gaze direction and gaze duration to assess attentional bias toward food images in pairs of food and non-food images that were presented in a visual probe task (Experiment 1, n = 21) and/or eye-tracking task (Experiment 2, n = 20). We also measured appetite ratings using visual analog scale. In addition, we conducted a control study in which the same number of participants performed the identical tasks to Experiments 1 and 2, but the participants did not perform sham feeding with gum-chewing/actual feeding between tasks and they took a rest. Two-way ANOVA revealed that after actual feeding, subjective ratings of hunger, preoccupation with food, and desire to eat significantly decreased, whereas fullness significantly increased. Sham feeding showed the same trends, but to a lesser degree. Results of the visual probe task in Experiment 1 showed that both sham feeding and actual feeding reduced reaction time bias significantly. Eye-tracking data showed that both sham and actual feeding resulted in significant reduction in gaze direction bias, indexing initial attentional orientation. Gaze duration bias was unaffected. In both control experiments, one-way ANOVAs showed no significant differences between immediately before and after the resting state for any of the appetite ratings, reaction time bias

  3. Short-term testosterone manipulations modulate visual recognition memory and some aspects of emotional reactivity in male rhesus monkeys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lacreuse, Agnès; Gore, Heather E; Chang, Jeemin; Kaplan, Emily R

    2012-05-15

    The role of testosterone (T) in modulating cognitive function and emotion in men remains unclear. The paucity of animal studies has likely contributed to the slow progress in this area. In particular, studies in nonhuman primates have been lacking. Our laboratory has begun to address this issue by pharmacologically manipulating T levels in intact male rhesus monkeys, using blind, placebo-controlled, crossover designs. We previously found that T-suppressed monkeys receiving supraphysiological T for 4 weeks had lower visual recognition memory for long delays and enhanced attention to videos of negative social stimuli (Lacreuse et al., 2009, 2010) compared to when treated with oil. To further delineate the conditions under which T affects cognition and emotion, the present study focused on the short-term effects of physiological T. Six intact males were treated with the gonadotropin-releasing hormone antagonist degarelix (3 mg/kg) for 7 days and received one injection of T enanthate (5 mg/kg) followed by one injection of oil vehicle 7 days later (n=3), or the reverse treatment (n=3). Performance on two computerized tasks, the Delayed-non-matching-to-sample (DNMS) with random delays and the object-Delayed Recognition Span test (object-DRST) and one task of emotional reactivity, an approach/avoidance task of negative, familiar and novel objects, was examined at baseline and 3-5 days after treatment. DNMS performance was significantly better when monkeys were treated with T compared to oil, independently of the delay duration or the nature (emotional or neutral) of the stimuli. Performance on the object-DRST was unaffected. Interestingly, subtle changes in emotional reactivity were also observed: T administration was associated with fewer object contacts, especially on negative objects, without overt changes in anxious behaviors. These results may reflect increased vigilance and alertness with high T. Altogether, the data suggest that changes in general arousal may

  4. Incongruence Between Observers’ and Observed Facial Muscle Activation Reduces Recognition of Emotional Facial Expressions From Video Stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tanja S. H. Wingenbach

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available According to embodied cognition accounts, viewing others’ facial emotion can elicit the respective emotion representation in observers which entails simulations of sensory, motor, and contextual experiences. In line with that, published research found viewing others’ facial emotion to elicit automatic matched facial muscle activation, which was further found to facilitate emotion recognition. Perhaps making congruent facial muscle activity explicit produces an even greater recognition advantage. If there is conflicting sensory information, i.e., incongruent facial muscle activity, this might impede recognition. The effects of actively manipulating facial muscle activity on facial emotion recognition from videos were investigated across three experimental conditions: (a explicit imitation of viewed facial emotional expressions (stimulus-congruent condition, (b pen-holding with the lips (stimulus-incongruent condition, and (c passive viewing (control condition. It was hypothesised that (1 experimental condition (a and (b result in greater facial muscle activity than (c, (2 experimental condition (a increases emotion recognition accuracy from others’ faces compared to (c, (3 experimental condition (b lowers recognition accuracy for expressions with a salient facial feature in the lower, but not the upper face area, compared to (c. Participants (42 males, 42 females underwent a facial emotion recognition experiment (ADFES-BIV while electromyography (EMG was recorded from five facial muscle sites. The experimental conditions’ order was counter-balanced. Pen-holding caused stimulus-incongruent facial muscle activity for expressions with facial feature saliency in the lower face region, which reduced recognition of lower face region emotions. Explicit imitation caused stimulus-congruent facial muscle activity without modulating recognition. Methodological implications are discussed.

  5. Incongruence Between Observers' and Observed Facial Muscle Activation Reduces Recognition of Emotional Facial Expressions From Video Stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wingenbach, Tanja S H; Brosnan, Mark; Pfaltz, Monique C; Plichta, Michael M; Ashwin, Chris

    2018-01-01

    According to embodied cognition accounts, viewing others' facial emotion can elicit the respective emotion representation in observers which entails simulations of sensory, motor, and contextual experiences. In line with that, published research found viewing others' facial emotion to elicit automatic matched facial muscle activation, which was further found to facilitate emotion recognition. Perhaps making congruent facial muscle activity explicit produces an even greater recognition advantage. If there is conflicting sensory information, i.e., incongruent facial muscle activity, this might impede recognition. The effects of actively manipulating facial muscle activity on facial emotion recognition from videos were investigated across three experimental conditions: (a) explicit imitation of viewed facial emotional expressions (stimulus-congruent condition), (b) pen-holding with the lips (stimulus-incongruent condition), and (c) passive viewing (control condition). It was hypothesised that (1) experimental condition (a) and (b) result in greater facial muscle activity than (c), (2) experimental condition (a) increases emotion recognition accuracy from others' faces compared to (c), (3) experimental condition (b) lowers recognition accuracy for expressions with a salient facial feature in the lower, but not the upper face area, compared to (c). Participants (42 males, 42 females) underwent a facial emotion recognition experiment (ADFES-BIV) while electromyography (EMG) was recorded from five facial muscle sites. The experimental conditions' order was counter-balanced. Pen-holding caused stimulus-incongruent facial muscle activity for expressions with facial feature saliency in the lower face region, which reduced recognition of lower face region emotions. Explicit imitation caused stimulus-congruent facial muscle activity without modulating recognition. Methodological implications are discussed.

  6. Incongruence Between Observers’ and Observed Facial Muscle Activation Reduces Recognition of Emotional Facial Expressions From Video Stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wingenbach, Tanja S. H.; Brosnan, Mark; Pfaltz, Monique C.; Plichta, Michael M.; Ashwin, Chris

    2018-01-01

    According to embodied cognition accounts, viewing others’ facial emotion can elicit the respective emotion representation in observers which entails simulations of sensory, motor, and contextual experiences. In line with that, published research found viewing others’ facial emotion to elicit automatic matched facial muscle activation, which was further found to facilitate emotion recognition. Perhaps making congruent facial muscle activity explicit produces an even greater recognition advantage. If there is conflicting sensory information, i.e., incongruent facial muscle activity, this might impede recognition. The effects of actively manipulating facial muscle activity on facial emotion recognition from videos were investigated across three experimental conditions: (a) explicit imitation of viewed facial emotional expressions (stimulus-congruent condition), (b) pen-holding with the lips (stimulus-incongruent condition), and (c) passive viewing (control condition). It was hypothesised that (1) experimental condition (a) and (b) result in greater facial muscle activity than (c), (2) experimental condition (a) increases emotion recognition accuracy from others’ faces compared to (c), (3) experimental condition (b) lowers recognition accuracy for expressions with a salient facial feature in the lower, but not the upper face area, compared to (c). Participants (42 males, 42 females) underwent a facial emotion recognition experiment (ADFES-BIV) while electromyography (EMG) was recorded from five facial muscle sites. The experimental conditions’ order was counter-balanced. Pen-holding caused stimulus-incongruent facial muscle activity for expressions with facial feature saliency in the lower face region, which reduced recognition of lower face region emotions. Explicit imitation caused stimulus-congruent facial muscle activity without modulating recognition. Methodological implications are discussed. PMID:29928240

  7. Use of Sine Shaped High-Frequency Rhythmic Visual Stimuli Patterns for SSVEP Response Analysis and Fatigue Rate Evaluation in Normal Subjects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keihani, Ahmadreza; Shirzhiyan, Zahra; Farahi, Morteza; Shamsi, Elham; Mahnam, Amin; Makkiabadi, Bahador; Haidari, Mohsen R; Jafari, Amir H

    2018-01-01

    Background: Recent EEG-SSVEP signal based BCI studies have used high frequency square pulse visual stimuli to reduce subjective fatigue. However, the effect of total harmonic distortion (THD) has not been considered. Compared to CRT and LCD monitors, LED screen displays high-frequency wave with better refresh rate. In this study, we present high frequency sine wave simple and rhythmic patterns with low THD rate by LED to analyze SSVEP responses and evaluate subjective fatigue in normal subjects. Materials and Methods: We used patterns of 3-sequence high-frequency sine waves (25, 30, and 35 Hz) to design our visual stimuli. Nine stimuli patterns, 3 simple (repetition of each of above 3 frequencies e.g., P25-25-25) and 6 rhythmic (all of the frequencies in 6 different sequences e.g., P25-30-35) were chosen. A hardware setup with low THD rate ( 90% for CCA and LASSO (for TWs > 1 s). High frequency rhythmic patterns group with low THD rate showed higher accuracy rate (99.24%) than simple patterns group (98.48%). Repeated measure ANOVA showed significant difference between rhythmic pattern features ( P rhythmic [3.85 ± 2.13] compared to the simple patterns group [3.96 ± 2.21], ( P = 0.63). Rhythmic group had lower within group VAS variation (min = P25-30-35 [2.90 ± 2.45], max = P35-25-30 [4.81 ± 2.65]) as well as least individual pattern VAS (P25-30-35). Discussion and Conclusion: Overall, rhythmic and simple pattern groups had higher and similar accuracy rates. Rhythmic stimuli patterns showed insignificantly lower fatigue rate than simple patterns. We conclude that both rhythmic and simple visual high frequency sine wave stimuli require further research for human subject SSVEP-BCI studies.

  8. Comparison of Gated Audiovisual Speech Identification in Elderly Hearing Aid Users and Elderly Normal-Hearing Individuals: Effects of Adding Visual Cues to Auditory Speech Stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moradi, Shahram; Lidestam, Björn; Rönnberg, Jerker

    2016-06-17

    The present study compared elderly hearing aid (EHA) users (n = 20) with elderly normal-hearing (ENH) listeners (n = 20) in terms of isolation points (IPs, the shortest time required for correct identification of a speech stimulus) and accuracy of audiovisual gated speech stimuli (consonants, words, and final words in highly and less predictable sentences) presented in silence. In addition, we compared the IPs of audiovisual speech stimuli from the present study with auditory ones extracted from a previous study, to determine the impact of the addition of visual cues. Both participant groups achieved ceiling levels in terms of accuracy in the audiovisual identification of gated speech stimuli; however, the EHA group needed longer IPs for the audiovisual identification of consonants and words. The benefit of adding visual cues to auditory speech stimuli was more evident in the EHA group, as audiovisual presentation significantly shortened the IPs for consonants, words, and final words in less predictable sentences; in the ENH group, audiovisual presentation only shortened the IPs for consonants and words. In conclusion, although the audiovisual benefit was greater for EHA group, this group had inferior performance compared with the ENH group in terms of IPs when supportive semantic context was lacking. Consequently, EHA users needed the initial part of the audiovisual speech signal to be longer than did their counterparts with normal hearing to reach the same level of accuracy in the absence of a semantic context. © The Author(s) 2016.

  9. A comparative analysis of global and local processing of hierarchical visual stimuli in young children (Homo sapiens) and monkeys (Cebus apella).

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Lillo, Carlo; Spinozzi, Giovanna; Truppa, Valentina; Naylor, Donna M

    2005-05-01

    Results obtained with preschool children (Homo sapiens) were compared with results previously obtained from capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella) in matching-to-sample tasks featuring hierarchical visual stimuli. In Experiment 1, monkeys, in contrast with children, showed an advantage in matching the stimuli on the basis of their local features. These results were replicated in a 2nd experiment in which control trials enabled the authors to rule out that children used spurious cues to solve the matching task. In a 3rd experiment featuring conditions in which the density of the stimuli was manipulated, monkeys' accuracy in the processing of the global shape of the stimuli was negatively affected by the separation of the local elements, whereas children's performance was robust across testing conditions. Children's response latencies revealed a global precedence in the 2nd and 3rd experiments. These results show differences in the processing of hierarchical stimuli by humans and monkeys that emerge early during childhood. 2005 APA, all rights reserved

  10. Emotional Response, Brand Recall and Response Latency to Visual Register for Food and Beverage Print Ads

    OpenAIRE

    Puškarević, Irma; Nedeljković, Uroš; Novaković, Dragoljub

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the nature of advertising principles or any other means of marketing communication that affects consume behavior has long been the subject of marketing research. The research of emotional response in relation to ad efficiency in this paper is an extension of the research previously conducted (Nedeljkovic et al., 2011). The aim of this research is to show how the ad content i.e. visual message in printed advertisements affects emotional response. Two hypotheses were postulated. F...

  11. New learning following reactivation in the human brain: targeting emotional memories through rapid serial visual presentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wirkner, Janine; Löw, Andreas; Hamm, Alfons O; Weymar, Mathias

    2015-03-01

    Once reactivated, previously consolidated memories destabilize and have to be reconsolidated to persist, a process that might be altered non-invasively by interfering learning immediately after reactivation. Here, we investigated the influence of interference on brain correlates of reactivated episodic memories for emotional and neutral scenes using event-related potentials (ERPs). To selectively target emotional memories we applied a new reactivation method: rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP). RSVP leads to enhanced implicit processing (pop out) of the most salient memories making them vulnerable to disruption. In line, interference after reactivation of previously encoded pictures disrupted recollection particularly for emotional events. Furthermore, memory impairments were reflected in a reduced centro-parietal ERP old/new difference during retrieval of emotional pictures. These results provide neural evidence that emotional episodic memories in humans can be selectively altered through behavioral interference after reactivation, a finding with further clinical implications for the treatment of anxiety disorders. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Assessing Essential Qualities of Urban Space with Emotional and Visual Data Based on GIS Technique

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xin Li

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Finding a method to evaluate people’s emotional responses to urban spaces in a valid and objective way is fundamentally important for urban design practices and related policy making. Analysis of the essential qualities of urban space could be made both more effective and more accurate using innovative information techniques that have become available in the era of big data. This study introduces an integrated method based on geographical information systems (GIS and an emotion-tracking technique to quantify the relationship between people’s emotional responses and urban space. This method can evaluate the degree to which people’s emotional responses are influenced by multiple urban characteristics such as building shapes and textures, isovist parameters, visual entropy, and visual fractals. The results indicate that urban spaces may influence people’s emotional responses through both spatial sequence arrangements and shifting scenario sequences. Emotional data were collected with body sensors and GPS devices. Spatial clustering was detected to target effective sampling locations; then, isovists were generated to extract building textures. Logistic regression and a receiver operating characteristic analysis were used to determine the key isovist parameters and the probabilities that they influenced people’s emotion. Finally, based on the results, we make some suggestions for design professionals in the field of urban space optimization.

  13. CONSUMER’S EMOTIONAL INFLUENCE & VISUAL MERCHANDISING EFFECTS: SHOPPING MALLS

    OpenAIRE

    Ranjan Upadhyaya; Govind Nath Srivastava

    2013-01-01

    The research empirically examines the impact of emotional influence in evaluation and purchase decision with special reference to goods sold in shopping malls. Various factors which influence the consumer decision, such as ease offered by retailer to customers in defining, selecting and purchasing the product, brand value, utility of the product, reference group, value for money, advertising and its appeal etc are being critically analyzed and its impact is being em...

  14. l-Theanine and caffeine improve target-specific attention to visual stimuli by decreasing mind wandering: a human functional magnetic resonance imaging study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kahathuduwa, Chanaka N; Dhanasekara, Chathurika S; Chin, Shao-Hua; Davis, Tyler; Weerasinghe, Vajira S; Dassanayake, Tharaka L; Binks, Martin

    2018-01-01

    Oral intake of l-theanine and caffeine supplements is known to be associated with faster stimulus discrimination, possibly via improving attention to stimuli. We hypothesized that l-theanine and caffeine may be bringing about this beneficial effect by increasing attention-related neural resource allocation to target stimuli and decreasing deviation of neural resources to distractors. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to test this hypothesis. Solutions of 200mg of l-theanine, 160mg of caffeine, their combination, or the vehicle (distilled water; placebo) were administered in a randomized 4-way crossover design to 9 healthy adult men. Sixty minutes after administration, a 20-minute fMRI scan was performed while the subjects performed a visual color stimulus discrimination task. l-Theanine and l-theanine-caffeine combination resulted in faster responses to targets compared with placebo (∆=27.8milliseconds, P=.018 and ∆=26.7milliseconds, P=.037, respectively). l-Theanine was associated with decreased fMRI responses to distractor stimuli in brain regions that regulate visual attention, suggesting that l-theanine may be decreasing neural resource allocation to process distractors, thus allowing to attend to targets more efficiently. l-Theanine-caffeine combination was associated with decreased fMRI responses to target stimuli as compared with distractors in several brain regions that typically show increased activation during mind wandering. Factorial analysis suggested that l-theanine and caffeine seem to have a synergistic action in decreasing mind wandering. Therefore, our hypothesis is that l-theanine and caffeine may be decreasing deviation of attention to distractors (including mind wandering); thus, enhancing attention to target stimuli was confirmed. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Gender differences in emotion recognition: Impact of sensory modality and emotional category.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lambrecht, Lena; Kreifelts, Benjamin; Wildgruber, Dirk

    2014-04-01

    Results from studies on gender differences in emotion recognition vary, depending on the types of emotion and the sensory modalities used for stimulus presentation. This makes comparability between different studies problematic. This study investigated emotion recognition of healthy participants (N = 84; 40 males; ages 20 to 70 years), using dynamic stimuli, displayed by two genders in three different sensory modalities (auditory, visual, audio-visual) and five emotional categories. The participants were asked to categorise the stimuli on the basis of their nonverbal emotional content (happy, alluring, neutral, angry, and disgusted). Hit rates and category selection biases were analysed. Women were found to be more accurate in recognition of emotional prosody. This effect was partially mediated by hearing loss for the frequency of 8,000 Hz. Moreover, there was a gender-specific selection bias for alluring stimuli: Men, as compared to women, chose "alluring" more often when a stimulus was presented by a woman as compared to a man.

  16. Effects of emotional tone and visual complexity on processing health information in prescription drug advertising.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norris, Rebecca L; Bailey, Rachel L; Bolls, Paul D; Wise, Kevin R

    2012-01-01

    This experiment explored how the emotional tone and visual complexity of direct-to-consumer (DTC) drug advertisements affect the encoding and storage of specific risk and benefit statements about each of the drugs in question. Results are interpreted under the limited capacity model of motivated mediated message processing framework. Findings suggest that DTC drug ads should be pleasantly toned and high in visual complexity in order to maximize encoding and storage of risk and benefit information.

  17. Distinct neural systems underlying reduced emotional enhancement for positive and negative stimuli in early Alzheimer’s disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Panagiota eMistridis

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Emotional information is typically better remembered than neutral content, and previous studies suggest that this effect is subserved particularly by the amygdala together with its interactions with the hippocampus. However, it is not known whether amygdala damage affects emotional memory performance at immediate and delayed recall, and whether its involvement is modulated by stimulus valence. Moreover, it is unclear to what extent more distributed neocortical regions involved in e.g. autobiographical memory, also contribute to emotional processing. We investigated these questions in a group of patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD, which affects the amygdala, hippocampus and neocortical regions. Healthy controls (n = 14, patients with AD (n = 15 and its putative prodrome amnestic mild cognitive impairment (n = 11 completed a memory task consisting of immediate and delayed free recall of a list of positive, negative and neutral words. Memory performance was related to brain integrity in region of interest and whole-brain voxel-based morphometry analyses. In the brain-behavioral analyses, the left amygdala volume predicted the immediate recall of both positive and negative material, whereas at delay, left and right amygdala volumes were associated with performance with positive and negative words, respectively. Whole-brain analyses revealed additional associations between left angular gyrus integrity and the immediate recall of positive words as well as between the orbitofrontal cortex and the delayed recall of negative words. These results indicate that emotional memory impairments in AD may be underpinned by damage to regions implicated in emotional processing as well as frontoparietal regions, which may exert their influence via autobiographical memories and organizational strategies.

  18. Emotion processing facilitates working memory performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindström, Björn R; Bohlin, Gunilla

    2011-11-01

    The effect of emotional stimulus content on working memory performance has been investigated with conflicting results, as both emotion-dependent facilitation and impairments are reported in the literature. To clarify this issue, 52 adult participants performed a modified visual 2-back task with highly arousing positive stimuli (sexual scenes), highly arousing negative stimuli (violent death) and low-arousal neutral stimuli. Emotional stimulus processing was found to facilitate task performance relative to that of neutral stimuli, both in regards to response accuracy and reaction times. No emotion-dependent differences in false-alarm rates were found. These results indicate that emotional information can have a facilitating effect on working memory maintenance and processing of information.

  19. Emotion and sex of facial stimuli modulate conditional automaticity in behavioral and neuronal interference in healthy men.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohn, Nils; Fernández, Guillén

    2017-12-06

    Our surrounding provides a host of sensory input, which we cannot fully process without streamlining and automatic processing. Levels of automaticity differ for different cognitive and affective processes. Situational and contextual interactions between cognitive and affective processes in turn influence the level of automaticity. Automaticity can be measured by interference in Stroop tasks. We applied an emotional version of the Stroop task to investigate how stress as a contextual factor influences the affective valence-dependent level of automaticity. 120 young, healthy men were investigated for behavioral and brain interference following a stress induction or control procedure in a counter-balanced cross-over-design. Although Stroop interference was always observed, sex and emotion of the face strongly modulated interference, which was larger for fearful and male faces. These effects suggest higher automaticity when processing happy and also female faces. Supporting behavioral patterns, brain data show lower interference related brain activity in executive control related regions in response to happy and female faces. In the absence of behavioral stress effects, congruent compared to incongruent trials (reverse interference) showed little to no deactivation under stress in response to happy female and fearful male trials. These congruency effects are potentially based on altered context- stress-related facial processing that interact with sex-emotion stereotypes. Results indicate that sex and facial emotion modulate Stroop interference in brain and behavior. These effects can be explained by altered response difficulty as a consequence of the contextual and stereotype related modulation of automaticity. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Visual attention and emotional memory: recall of aversive pictures is partially mediated by concurrent task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pottage, Claire L; Schaefer, Alexandre

    2012-02-01

    The emotional enhancement of memory is often thought to be determined by attention. However, recent evidence using divided attention paradigms suggests that attention does not play a significant role in the formation of memories for aversive pictures. We report a study that investigated this question using a paradigm in which participants had to encode lists of randomly intermixed negative and neutral pictures under conditions of full attention and divided attention followed by a free recall test. Attention was divided by a highly demanding concurrent task tapping visual processing resources. Results showed that the advantage in recall for aversive pictures was still present in the DA condition. However, mediation analyses also revealed that concurrent task performance significantly mediated the emotional enhancement of memory under divided attention. This finding suggests that visual attentional processes play a significant role in the formation of emotional memories. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved

  1. Blind jealousy? Romantic insecurity increases emotion-induced failures of visual perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Most, Steven B; Laurenceau, Jean-Philippe; Graber, Elana; Belcher, Amber; Smith, C Veronica

    2010-04-01

    Does the influence of close relationships pervade so deeply as to impact visual awareness? Results from two experiments involving heterosexual romantic couples suggest that they do. Female partners from each couple performed a rapid detection task where negative emotional distractors typically disrupt visual awareness of subsequent targets; at the same time, their male partners rated attractiveness first of landscapes, then of photos of other women. At the end of both experiments, the degree to which female partners indicated uneasiness about their male partner looking at and rating other women correlated significantly with the degree to which negative emotional distractors had disrupted their target perception during that time. This relationship was robust even when controlling for individual differences in baseline performance. Thus, emotions elicited by social contexts appear to wield power even at the level of perceptual processing. Copyright 2010 APA, all rights reserved.

  2. The integration of visual context information in facial emotion recognition in 5- to 15-year-olds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Theurel, Anne; Witt, Arnaud; Malsert, Jennifer; Lejeune, Fleur; Fiorentini, Chiara; Barisnikov, Koviljka; Gentaz, Edouard

    2016-10-01

    The current study investigated the role of congruent visual context information in the recognition of facial emotional expression in 190 participants from 5 to 15years of age. Children performed a matching task that presented pictures with different facial emotional expressions (anger, disgust, happiness, fear, and sadness) in two conditions: with and without a visual context. The results showed that emotions presented with visual context information were recognized more accurately than those presented in the absence of visual context. The context effect remained steady with age but varied according to the emotion presented and the gender of participants. The findings demonstrated for the first time that children from the age of 5years are able to integrate facial expression and visual context information, and this integration improves facial emotion recognition. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Identification and location tasks rely on different mental processes: a diffusion model account of validity effects in spatial cueing paradigms with emotional stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imhoff, Roland; Lange, Jens; Germar, Markus

    2018-02-22

    Spatial cueing paradigms are popular tools to assess human attention to emotional stimuli, but different variants of these paradigms differ in what participants' primary task is. In one variant, participants indicate the location of the target (location task), whereas in the other they indicate the shape of the target (identification task). In the present paper we test the idea that although these two variants produce seemingly comparable cue validity effects on response times, they rest on different underlying processes. Across four studies (total N = 397; two in the supplement) using both variants and manipulating the motivational relevance of cue content, diffusion model analyses revealed that cue validity effects in location tasks are primarily driven by response biases, whereas the same effect rests on delay due to attention to the cue in identification tasks. Based on this, we predict and empirically support that a symmetrical distribution of valid and invalid cues would reduce cue validity effects in location tasks to a greater extent than in identification tasks. Across all variants of the task, we fail to replicate the effect of greater cue validity effects for arousing (vs. neutral) stimuli. We discuss the implications of these findings for best practice in spatial cueing research.

  4. Different Stimuli, Different Spatial Codes: A Visual Map and an Auditory Rate Code for Oculomotor Space in the Primate Superior Colliculus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jungah; Groh, Jennifer M.

    2014-01-01

    Maps are a mainstay of visual, somatosensory, and motor coding in many species. However, auditory maps of space have not been reported in the primate brain. Instead, recent studies have suggested that sound location may be encoded via broadly responsive neurons whose firing rates vary roughly proportionately with sound azimuth. Within frontal space, maps and such rate codes involve different response patterns at the level of individual neurons. Maps consist of neurons exhibiting circumscribed receptive fields, whereas rate codes involve open-ended response patterns that peak in the periphery. This coding format discrepancy therefore poses a potential problem for brain regions responsible for representing both visual and auditory information. Here, we investigated the coding of auditory space in the primate superior colliculus(SC), a structure known to contain visual and oculomotor maps for guiding saccades. We report that, for visual stimuli, neurons showed circumscribed receptive fields consistent with a map, but for auditory stimuli, they had open-ended response patterns consistent with a rate or level-of-activity code for location. The discrepant response patterns were not segregated into different neural populations but occurred in the same neurons. We show that a read-out algorithm in which the site and level of SC activity both contribute to the computation of stimulus location is successful at evaluating the discrepant visual and auditory codes, and can account for subtle but systematic differences in the accuracy of auditory compared to visual saccades. This suggests that a given population of neurons can use different codes to support appropriate multimodal behavior. PMID:24454779

  5. Brain Processing of Visual Stimuli Representing Sexual Penetration versus Core and Animal-Reminder Disgust in Women with Lifelong Vaginismus

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Borg, Charmaine; Georgiadis, Janniko R.; Renken, Remco J.; Spoelstra, Symen K.; Weijmar Schultz, Willibrordus; de Jong, Peter

    2014-01-01

    It has been proposed that disgust evolved to protect humans from contamination. Through eliciting the overwhelming urge to withdraw from the disgusting stimuli, it would facilitate avoidance of contact with pathogens. The physical proximity implied in sexual intercourse provides ample opportunity

  6. Neural reactivity to visual food stimuli is reduced in some areas of the brain during evening hours compared to morning hours: an fMRI study in women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masterson, Travis D; Kirwan, C Brock; Davidson, Lance E; LeCheminant, James D

    2016-03-01

    The extent that neural responsiveness to visual food stimuli is influenced by time of day is not well examined. Using a crossover design, 15 healthy women were scanned using fMRI while presented with low- and high-energy pictures of food, once in the morning (6:30-8:30 am) and once in the evening (5:00-7:00 pm). Diets were identical on both days of the fMRI scans and were verified using weighed food records. Visual analog scales were used to record subjective perception of hunger and preoccupation with food prior to each fMRI scan. Six areas of the brain showed lower activation in the evening to both high- and low-energy foods, including structures in reward pathways (P foods compared to low-energy foods (P food stimuli tended to produce greater fMRI responses than low-energy food stimuli in specific areas of the brain, regardless of time of day. However, evening scans showed a lower response to both low- and high-energy food pictures in some areas of the brain. Subjectively, participants reported no difference in hunger by time of day (F = 1.84, P = 0.19), but reported they could eat more (F = 4.83, P = 0.04) and were more preoccupied with thoughts of food (F = 5.51, P = 0.03) in the evening compared to the morning. These data underscore the role that time of day may have on neural responses to food stimuli. These results may also have clinical implications for fMRI measurement in order to prevent a time of day bias.

  7. Task relevance of emotional information affects anxiety-linked attention bias in visual search.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dodd, Helen F; Vogt, Julia; Turkileri, Nilgun; Notebaert, Lies

    2017-01-01

    Task relevance affects emotional attention in healthy individuals. Here, we investigate whether the association between anxiety and attention bias is affected by the task relevance of emotion during an attention task. Participants completed two visual search tasks. In the emotion-irrelevant task, participants were asked to indicate whether a discrepant face in a crowd of neutral, middle-aged faces was old or young. Irrelevant to the task, target faces displayed angry, happy, or neutral expressions. In the emotion-relevant task, participants were asked to indicate whether a discrepant face in a crowd of middle-aged neutral faces was happy or angry (target faces also varied in age). Trait anxiety was not associated with attention in the emotion-relevant task. However, in the emotion-irrelevant task, trait anxiety was associated with a bias for angry over happy faces. These findings demonstrate that the task relevance of emotional information affects conclusions about the presence of an anxiety-linked attention bias. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Emotional noun processing: an ERP study with rapid serial visual presentation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shengnan Yi

    Full Text Available Reading is an important part of our daily life, and rapid responses to emotional words have received a great deal of research interest. Our study employed rapid serial visual presentation to detect the time course of emotional noun processing using event-related potentials. We performed a dual-task experiment, where subjects were required to judge whether a given number was odd or even, and the category into which each emotional noun fit. In terms of P1, we found that there was no negativity bias for emotional nouns. However, emotional nouns elicited larger amplitudes in the N170 component in the left hemisphere than did neutral nouns. This finding indicated that in later processing stages, emotional words can be discriminated from neutral words. Furthermore, positive, negative, and neutral words were different from each other in the late positive complex, indicating that in the third stage, even different emotions can be discerned. Thus, our results indicate that in a three-stage model the latter two stages are more stable and universal.

  9. Emotional noun processing: an ERP study with rapid serial visual presentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yi, Shengnan; He, Weiqi; Zhan, Lei; Qi, Zhengyang; Zhu, Chuanlin; Luo, Wenbo; Li, Hong

    2015-01-01

    Reading is an important part of our daily life, and rapid responses to emotional words have received a great deal of research interest. Our study employed rapid serial visual presentation to detect the time course of emotional noun processing using event-related potentials. We performed a dual-task experiment, where subjects were required to judge whether a given number was odd or even, and the category into which each emotional noun fit. In terms of P1, we found that there was no negativity bias for emotional nouns. However, emotional nouns elicited larger amplitudes in the N170 component in the left hemisphere than did neutral nouns. This finding indicated that in later processing stages, emotional words can be discriminated from neutral words. Furthermore, positive, negative, and neutral words were different from each other in the late positive complex, indicating that in the third stage, even different emotions can be discerned. Thus, our results indicate that in a three-stage model the latter two stages are more stable and universal.

  10. The coupling of cerebral blood flow and oxygen metabolism with brain activation is similar for simple and complex stimuli in human primary visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffeth, Valerie E M; Simon, Aaron B; Buxton, Richard B

    2015-01-01

    Quantitative functional MRI (fMRI) experiments to measure blood flow and oxygen metabolism coupling in the brain typically rely on simple repetitive stimuli. Here we compared such stimuli with a more naturalistic stimulus. Previous work on the primary visual cortex showed that direct attentional modulation evokes a blood flow (CBF) response with a relatively large oxygen metabolism (CMRO2) response in comparison to an unattended stimulus, which evokes a much smaller metabolic response relative to the flow response. We hypothesized that a similar effect would be associated with a more engaging stimulus, and tested this by measuring the primary human visual cortex response to two contrast levels of a radial flickering checkerboard in comparison to the response to free viewing of brief movie clips. We did not find a significant difference in the blood flow-metabolism coupling (n=%ΔCBF/%ΔCMRO2) between the movie stimulus and the flickering checkerboards employing two different analysis methods: a standard analysis using the Davis model and a new analysis using a heuristic model dependent only on measured quantities. This finding suggests that in the primary visual cortex a naturalistic stimulus (in comparison to a simple repetitive stimulus) is either not sufficient to provoke a change in flow-metabolism coupling by attentional modulation as hypothesized, that the experimental design disrupted the cognitive processes underlying the response to a more natural stimulus, or that the technique used is not sensitive enough to detect a small difference. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Age-related positivity enhancement is not universal: older Chinese look away from positive stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fung, Helene H; Lu, Alice Y; Goren, Deborah; Isaacowitz, Derek M; Wadlinger, Heather A; Wilson, Hugh R

    2008-06-01

    Socioemotional selectivity theory postulates that with age, people are motivated to derive emotional meaning from life, leading them to pay more attention to positive relative to negative/neutral stimuli. The authors argue that cultures that differ in what they consider to be emotionally meaningful may show this preference to different extents. Using eye-tracking techniques, the authors compared visual attention toward emotional (happy, fearful, sad, and angry) and neutral facial expressions among 46 younger and 57 older Hong Kong Chinese. In contrast to prior Western findings, older but not younger Chinese looked away from happy facial expressions, suggesting that they do not show attentional preferences toward positive stimuli.

  12. Spatial-attention and emotional evocation: line bisection performance and visual art emotional evocation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drago, Valeria; Finney, Glen R; Foster, Paul S; Amengual, Alejandra; Jeong, Yong; Mizuno, Tomoiuki; Crucian, Gregory P; Heilman, Kenneth M

    2008-03-01

    Lesion studies demonstrate that the right temporal-parietal region (RTP) is important for mediating spatial attention. The RTP is also involved in emotional experiences that can be evoked by art. Normal people vary in their ability to allocate spatial attention, thus, people who can better allocate attention might also be more influenced by the emotional messages of the paintings (evocative impact). Seventeen healthy participants bisected an unlabeled 100mm line and their performance on this task was used to create two groups, individuals who were more (mALB) and less accurate (lALB). These participants also judged 10 paintings on five qualities, Evocative Impact, Aesthetics, Novelty, Technique, and Closure by marking a 100mm line from 1 (low degree) to 10 (high degree). An ANOVA indicated differences in accuracy on the line bisection (LB) between the two groups. Additional ANOVAs, using the quality ratings as the dependent measure, revealed that the mALB group scored the Evocative Impact greater than the lALB group. These results suggest that the differences in attentional bias between the two groups, as indicated by their LB performance, might influence their evocative impact or reactions and also be a 'barometer' of other RTP functions, including emotional processing.

  13. Interhemispheric differences of fMRI responses to visual stimuli in patients with side-fixed migraine aura

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hougaard, Anders; Amin, Faisal Mohammad; Hoffmann, Michael B

    2014-01-01

    hemifield. We recruited 20 patients with frequent side-fixed visual aura attacks (≥90% of auras occurring in the same visual hemifield) and 20 age and sex matched healthy controls and compared the fMRI blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) responses to visual stimulation between symptomatic...... and asymptomatic hemispheres during the interictal phase and between migraine patients and controls. BOLD responses were selectively increased in the symptomatic hemispheres. This was found in the inferior parietal lobule (P = 0.002), the inferior frontal gyrus (P = 0.003), and the superior parietal lobule (P = 0.......017). The affected cortical areas comprise a visually driven functional network involved in oculomotor control, guidance of movement, motion perception, visual attention, and visual spatial memory. The patients also had significantly increased response in the same cortical areas when compared to controls (P

  14. Visual Scanning Patterns and Executive Function in Relation to Facial Emotion Recognition in Aging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Circelli, Karishma S.; Clark, Uraina S.; Cronin-Golomb, Alice

    2012-01-01

    Objective The ability to perceive facial emotion varies with age. Relative to younger adults (YA), older adults (OA) are less accurate at identifying fear, anger, and sadness, and more accurate at identifying disgust. Because different emotions are conveyed by different parts of the face, changes in visual scanning patterns may account for age-related variability. We investigated the relation between scanning patterns and recognition of facial emotions. Additionally, as frontal-lobe changes with age may affect scanning patterns and emotion recognition, we examined correlations between scanning parameters and performance on executive function tests. Methods We recorded eye movements from 16 OA (mean age 68.9) and 16 YA (mean age 19.2) while they categorized facial expressions and non-face control images (landscapes), and administered standard tests of executive function. Results OA were less accurate than YA at identifying fear (precognition of sad expressions and with scanning patterns for fearful, sad, and surprised expressions. Conclusion We report significant age-related differences in visual scanning that are specific to faces. The observed relation between scanning patterns and executive function supports the hypothesis that frontal-lobe changes with age may underlie some changes in emotion recognition. PMID:22616800

  15. Brain processing of visual stimuli representing sexual penetration versus core and animal-reminder disgust in women with lifelong vaginismus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borg, Charmaine; Georgiadis, Janniko R; Renken, Remco J; Spoelstra, Symen K; Weijmar Schultz, Willibrord; de Jong, Peter J

    2014-01-01

    It has been proposed that disgust evolved to protect humans from contamination. Through eliciting the overwhelming urge to withdraw from the disgusting stimuli, it would facilitate avoidance of contact with pathogens. The physical proximity implied in sexual intercourse provides ample opportunity for contamination and may thus set the stage for eliciting pathogen disgust. Building on this, it has been argued that the involuntary muscle contraction characteristic of vaginismus (i.e., inability to have vaginal penetration) may be elicited by the prospect of penetration by potential contaminants. To further investigate this disgust-based interpretation of vaginismus (in DSM-5 classified as a Genito-Pelvic Pain/Penetration Disorder, GPPPD) we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine if women with vaginismus (n = 21) show relatively strong convergence in their brain responses towards sexual penetration- and disgust-related pictures compared to sexually asymptomatic women (n = 21) and women suffering from vulvar pain (dyspareunia/also classified as GPPPD in the DSM-5, n = 21). At the subjective level, both clinical groups rated penetration stimuli as more disgusting than asymptomatic women. However, the brain responses to penetration stimuli did not differ between groups. In addition, there was considerable conjoint brain activity in response to penetration and disgust pictures, which yield for both animal-reminder (e.g., mutilation) and core (e.g., rotten food) disgust domains. However, this overlap in brain activation was similar for all groups. A possible explanation for the lack of vaginismus-specific brain responses lies in the alleged female ambiguity (procreation/pleasure vs. contamination/disgust) toward penetration: generally in women a (default) disgust response tendency may prevail in the absence of sexual readiness. Accordingly, a critical next step would be to examine the processing of penetration stimuli following the

  16. Brain processing of visual stimuli representing sexual penetration versus core and animal-reminder disgust in women with lifelong vaginismus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charmaine Borg

    Full Text Available It has been proposed that disgust evolved to protect humans from contamination. Through eliciting the overwhelming urge to withdraw from the disgusting stimuli, it would facilitate avoidance of contact with pathogens. The physical proximity implied in sexual intercourse provides ample opportunity for contamination and may thus set the stage for eliciting pathogen disgust. Building on this, it has been argued that the involuntary muscle contraction characteristic of vaginismus (i.e., inability to have vaginal penetration may be elicited by the prospect of penetration by potential contaminants. To further investigate this disgust-based interpretation of vaginismus (in DSM-5 classified as a Genito-Pelvic Pain/Penetration Disorder, GPPPD we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI to examine if women with vaginismus (n = 21 show relatively strong convergence in their brain responses towards sexual penetration- and disgust-related pictures compared to sexually asymptomatic women (n = 21 and women suffering from vulvar pain (dyspareunia/also classified as GPPPD in the DSM-5, n = 21. At the subjective level, both clinical groups rated penetration stimuli as more disgusting than asymptomatic women. However, the brain responses to penetration stimuli did not differ between groups. In addition, there was considerable conjoint brain activity in response to penetration and disgust pictures, which yield for both animal-reminder (e.g., mutilation and core (e.g., rotten food disgust domains. However, this overlap in brain activation was similar for all groups. A possible explanation for the lack of vaginismus-specific brain responses lies in the alleged female ambiguity (procreation/pleasure vs. contamination/disgust toward penetration: generally in women a (default disgust response tendency may prevail in the absence of sexual readiness. Accordingly, a critical next step would be to examine the processing of penetration stimuli following

  17. Brain Processing of Visual Stimuli Representing Sexual Penetration versus Core and Animal-Reminder Disgust in Women with Lifelong Vaginismus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borg, Charmaine; Georgiadis, Janniko R.; Renken, Remco J.; Spoelstra, Symen K.; Weijmar Schultz, Willibrord; de Jong, Peter J.

    2014-01-01

    It has been proposed that disgust evolved to protect humans from contamination. Through eliciting the overwhelming urge to withdraw from the disgusting stimuli, it would facilitate avoidance of contact with pathogens. The physical proximity implied in sexual intercourse provides ample opportunity for contamination and may thus set the stage for eliciting pathogen disgust. Building on this, it has been argued that the involuntary muscle contraction characteristic of vaginismus (i.e., inability to have vaginal penetration) may be elicited by the prospect of penetration by potential contaminants. To further investigate this disgust-based interpretation of vaginismus (in DSM-5 classified as a Genito-Pelvic Pain/Penetration Disorder, GPPPD) we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine if women with vaginismus (n = 21) show relatively strong convergence in their brain responses towards sexual penetration- and disgust-related pictures compared to sexually asymptomatic women (n = 21) and women suffering from vulvar pain (dyspareunia/also classified as GPPPD in the DSM-5, n = 21). At the subjective level, both clinical groups rated penetration stimuli as more disgusting than asymptomatic women. However, the brain responses to penetration stimuli did not differ between groups. In addition, there was considerable conjoint brain activity in response to penetration and disgust pictures, which yield for both animal-reminder (e.g., mutilation) and core (e.g., rotten food) disgust domains. However, this overlap in brain activation was similar for all groups. A possible explanation for the lack of vaginismus-specific brain responses lies in the alleged female ambiguity (procreation/pleasure vs. contamination/disgust) toward penetration: generally in women a (default) disgust response tendency may prevail in the absence of sexual readiness. Accordingly, a critical next step would be to examine the processing of penetration stimuli following the

  18. Brain Processing of Visual Stimuli Representing Sexual Penetration versus Core and Animal-Reminder Disgust in Women with Lifelong Vaginismus

    OpenAIRE

    Borg, Charmaine; Georgiadis, Janniko R.; Renken, Remco J.; Spoelstra, Symen K.; Weijmar Schultz, Willibrord; de Jong, Peter J.

    2014-01-01

    It has been proposed that disgust evolved to protect humans from contamination. Through eliciting the overwhelming urge to withdraw from the disgusting stimuli, it would facilitate avoidance of contact with pathogens. The physical proximity implied in sexual intercourse provides ample opportunity for contamination and may thus set the stage for eliciting pathogen disgust. Building on this, it has been argued that the involuntary muscle contraction characteristic of vaginismus (i.e., inability...

  19. Temporal-order judgment of visual and auditory stimuli: Modulations in situations with and without stimulus discrimination

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elisabeth eHendrich

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Temporal-order judgment (TOJ tasks are an important paradigm to investigate processing times of information in different modalities. There are a lot of studies on how temporal order decisions can be influenced by stimuli characteristics. However, so far it has not been investigated whether the addition of a choice reaction time task has an influence on temporal-order judgment. Moreover, it is not known when during processing the decision about the temporal order of two stimuli is made. We investigated the first of these two questions by comparing a regular TOJ task with a dual task. In both tasks, we manipulated different processing stages to investigate whether the manipulations have an influence on temporal-order judgment and to determine thereby the time of processing at which the decision about temporal order is made. The results show that the addition of a choice reaction time task does have an influence on the temporal-order judgment, but the influence seems to be linked to the kind of manipulation of the processing stages that is used. The results of the manipulations indicate that the temporal order decision in the dual task paradigm is made after perceptual processing of the stimuli.

  20. Nasal Oxytocin Treatment Biases Dogs’ Visual Attention and Emotional Response toward Positive Human Facial Expressions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sanni Somppi

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The neuropeptide oxytocin plays a critical role in social behavior and emotion regulation in mammals. The aim of this study was to explore how nasal oxytocin administration affects gazing behavior during emotional perception in domestic dogs. Looking patterns of dogs, as a measure of voluntary attention, were recorded during the viewing of human facial expression photographs. The pupil diameters of dogs were also measured as a physiological index of emotional arousal. In a placebo-controlled within-subjects experimental design, 43 dogs, after having received either oxytocin or placebo (saline nasal spray treatment, were presented with pictures of unfamiliar male human faces displaying either a happy or an angry expression. We found that, depending on the facial expression, the dogs’ gaze patterns were affected selectively by oxytocin treatment. After receiving oxytocin, dogs fixated less often on the eye regions of angry faces and revisited (glanced back at more often the eye regions of smiling (happy faces than after the placebo treatment. Furthermore, following the oxytocin treatment dogs fixated and revisited the eyes of happy faces significantly more often than the eyes of angry faces. The analysis of dogs’ pupil diameters during viewing of human facial expressions indicated that oxytocin may also have a modulatory effect on dogs’ emotional arousal. While subjects’ pupil sizes were significantly larger when viewing angry faces than happy faces in the control (placebo treatment condition, oxytocin treatment not only eliminated this effect but caused an opposite pupil response. Overall, these findings suggest that nasal oxytocin administration selectively changes the allocation of attention and emotional arousal in domestic dogs. Oxytocin has the potential to decrease vigilance toward threatening social stimuli and increase the salience of positive social stimuli thus making eye gaze of friendly human faces more salient for dogs. Our

  1. Positive emotion impedes emotional but not cognitive conflict processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zinchenko, Artyom; Obermeier, Christian; Kanske, Philipp; Schröger, Erich; Kotz, Sonja A

    2017-06-01

    Cognitive control enables successful goal-directed behavior by resolving a conflict between opposing action tendencies, while emotional control arises as a consequence of emotional conflict processing such as in irony. While negative emotion facilitates both cognitive and emotional conflict processing, it is unclear how emotional conflict processing is affected by positive emotion (e.g., humor). In 2 EEG experiments, we investigated the role of positive audiovisual target stimuli in cognitive and emotional conflict processing. Participants categorized either spoken vowels (cognitive task) or their emotional valence (emotional task) and ignored the visual stimulus dimension. Behaviorally, a positive target showed no influence on cognitive conflict processing, but impeded emotional conflict processing. In the emotional task, response time conflict costs were higher for positive than for neutral targets. In the EEG, we observed an interaction of emotion by congruence in the P200 and N200 ERP components in emotional but not in cognitive conflict processing. In the emotional conflict task, the P200 and N200 conflict effect was larger for emotional than neutral targets. Thus, our results show that emotion affects conflict processing differently as a function of conflict type and emotional valence. This suggests that there are conflict- and valence-specific mechanisms modulating executive control.

  2. Visual stimuli for the P300 brain-computer interface: a comparison of white/gray and green/blue flicker matrices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takano, Kouji; Komatsu, Tomoaki; Hata, Naoki; Nakajima, Yasoichi; Kansaku, Kenji

    2009-08-01

    The white/gray flicker matrix has been used as a visual stimulus for the so-called P300 brain-computer interface (BCI), but the white/gray flash stimuli might induce discomfort. In this study, we investigated the effectiveness of green/blue flicker matrices as visual stimuli. Ten able-bodied, non-trained subjects performed Alphabet Spelling (Japanese Alphabet: Hiragana) using an 8