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Emotion and motion in facial expression modulate the attentional blink

Published in Perception. 2009, vol. 38, no. 3, p. 466-467
Abstract The attentional blink (AB) refers to that period of time (200-400 ms) during which the cognitive system is processing a first target (T1), thereby unable to process a second target (T2) (Raymond et al, 1992, J Exp Psych, 18, 849-860). It unfolds over time, probing the competition between incoming stimuli during each stage of early visual attention. We used the AB to examine how static and dynamic emotional facial expressions direct attention. In experiment 1, T1 was a neutral face. T2 was either a fearful, happy or neutral face, and was either static or dynamic--the expression unfolded from 0 to 100%. Participants performed a gender decision on T1, and reported whether they perceived a second face. We used curve-fitting techniques (Cousineau et al, 2007, Can J Exp Psyc, 60, 175-189) to analyze aspects of the data related to the ignition of the blink and its duration. We show that (1) emotional faces suffer from this effect earlier, and that (2) it lasts for a shorter period of time compared to neutral faces. (3) Dynamic facial expressions alleviate the AB more than static faces. Experiment 2 addressed the effect of the motion contained in dynamic emotional facial expressions. T1 was a neutral face. T2 was a fearful static, dynamic or scrambled-dynamic face--tailored to show scrambled configural and featural information, avoiding emotion recognition while displaying the same intrinsic motion as dynamic facial expressions. Results confirmed the AB was modulated by emotion and not simply by dynamic targets. These findings suggest that emotional salience plays a critical role in attentional resource allocation during early stages of visual attention.
Keywords Attentional blinkFacial expressionFacsgenTemporal attention
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Article (Published version) (186 Kb) - public document Free access
Research group Affective sciences
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ROESCH, Etienne, SANDER, David, SCHERER, Klaus R. Emotion and motion in facial expression modulate the attentional blink. In: Perception, 2009, vol. 38, n° 3, p. 466-467. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:97809

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Deposited on : 2017-10-19

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