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Visual search for facial expressions of emotion is less affected in simultanagnosia

Caldara-Schnetzer, Anne-Sarah
Published in Cortex. 2008, vol. 44, no. 1, p. 46-53
Abstract Evidence in healthy human subjects has suggested that angry faces may be enhanced during spatial processing, perhaps even "popping-out" of a crowd. These contentions have remained controversial, but two recent reports in patients suffering from unilateral spatial neglect have lent some support to these views, suggesting that emotional faces capture attention more efficiently than neutral stimuli in the neglected field. Here, we investigate this phenomenon in a patient suffering from severe Balint's syndrome and consequent simultanagnosia. Using a visual search paradigm, we studied differences in the detection of angry, happy and neutral faces, as well as non-emotional stimuli. Results revealed that emotionally expressive faces, in particular anger, were detected more efficiently than other stimuli. These findings corroborate claims that facial expressions of emotion constitute a specific category of stimuli that attract attention more effectively, and are processed prior to attentional engagement.
Keywords Agnosia/complications/pathology/psychologyAngerAtaxia/complications/pathology/psychologyAttention/physiologyCase-Control StudiesEye Movements/physiologyFacial ExpressionFemaleField Dependence-IndependenceHumansMatched-Pair AnalysisMiddle AgedOccipital Lobe/pathologyParietal Lobe/pathologyPattern Recognition, Visual/physiologyPerceptual Disorders/complications/pathology/psychologyPhotic StimulationRecognition (Psychology)Reference ValuesSocial PerceptionStroke/complicationsSyndrome
PMID: 18387530
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Research group Neuropsychologie clinique appliquée et neurosciences cognitives (703)
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PEGNA, Alan, CALDARA-SCHNETZER, Anne-Sarah, KHATEB, Asaid. Visual search for facial expressions of emotion is less affected in simultanagnosia. In: Cortex, 2008, vol. 44, n° 1, p. 46-53. doi: 10.1016/j.cortex.2006.02.001 https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:1035

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Deposited on : 2009-02-27

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