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Event-related P3a and P3b in response to unpredictable emotional stimuli

Silvert, Laetitia
Hot, Pascal
Sequeira, Henrique
Published in Biological Psychology. 2005, vol. 68, no. 2, p. 107-120
Abstract In natural situations, unpredictable events processing often interacts with the ongoing cognitive activities. In a similar manner, the insertion of deviant unpredictable stimuli into a classical oddball task evokes both the P3a and P3b event-related potentials (ERPs) components that are, respectively, thought to index reallocation of attentional resources or inhibitory process and memory updating mechanism. This study aims at characterising the influence of the emotional arousal and valence of a deviant and unpredictable non-target stimulus on these components. ERPs were recorded from 28 sites during a visual three-stimulus oddball paradigm. Unpleasant, neutral and pleasant pictures served as non-target unpredictable items and subjects were asked to realize a perceptually difficult standard/target discrimination task. A temporal principal component analysis (PCA) allowed us to show that non-target pictures elicited both a P3a and a P3b. Moreover, the P3b component was modulated by the emotional arousal and the valence of the pictures. Thus, the memory updating process may be modulated by the affective arousal and valence of unpredictable disturbing stimuli, even if the task does not require any explicit emotional categorization.
Keywords AdultAffect/physiologyArousal/physiologyBlinking/physiologyBrain Mapping/instrumentationCognition/physiologyElectroencephalographyEvoked Potentials/physiologyEye Movements/physiologyFemaleFrontal Lobe/physiologyHumansMaleMemory/physiologyNerve Net/physiologyNeural Inhibition/physiologyOccipital Lobe/physiologyParietal Lobe/physiologyTemporal Lobe/physiology
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PMID: 15450691
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