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Selective Processing of Affective Pictures: A Study with the Attentional Blink Design

Selective Processing of Affective Pictures: A Study with the Attentional Blink Design

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WEBER, Katja, 2006. Selective Processing of Affective Pictures: A Study with the Attentional Blink Design

@mastersthesis{Weber2006Selec-11051, title={Selective Processing of Affective Pictures: A Study with the Attentional Blink Design}, year={2006}, author={Weber, Katja} }

eng Weber, Katja The aim of the present investigation was to examine the selective processing of complex affective pictures as a function of available attentional resources. To determine the affective attributes of pictures that amplify post-perceptual processing within the underlying limits of the cognitive system as well as to gain insight into the temporal dynamics of these processes, an attentional blink (AB) paradigm during rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) was employed. The AB, a temporal visual attention deficit, appears after the successful processing of a first target (T1) for approximately 200 600 ms. During this interval the detection and processing of a second target (T2) is impaired. T2 was presented in three different T1-T2 lags (SOAs: 186.6 ms, 373.2 ms, and 559.8 ms) after the onset of T1. T1s depicted hands in differing positions. Pleasant highly arousing, neutral low arousing, and unpleasant highly arousing pictures showing humans were used as second targets (T2) in a 9.3 Hz RSVP stream. Behavioral measures were recorded after the picture streams. T1 had to be reproduced in a free recall task, whereas T2 had to be recognized and selected within distractors in a recognition matrix.<br />The processing of T2 was impaired for all affective groups showing reduced recognition accuracy rates in all lags, but only the unpleasant stimulus category showed a pronounced AB effect. Response times were significantly reduced only for the unpleasant picture group compared to the other ones. Performance of T1 was unaffected by the affective category of T2 or lag.<br />Pleasant highly arousing pictures in terms of valence, irrespective of their arousal degree, were associated with enhanced accuracy rates compared to the unpleasant highly arousing ones during all lags, suggesting amplification for the pleasant stimulus category. Neutral low arousing pictures showed scores in between both highly arousing groups. Recognition times of T2 instead varied as a function of arousal with slowest responses for the unpleasant picture group. This response time reduction of the latter category was strongest in the shortest lag 2. Additionally, a correlation was found in lag 2 between participants state anxiety scores and response times of unpleasant T2s compared to response times of pleasant T2s. The results are discussed with regard to the AB underlying processes as well as compared and contrasted to previous findings of studies. The human defense cascade model, suggesting that unpleasant picture content can prompt a human analog of freezing behavior, as well as inter-individual emotion regulation strategies are proposed to explain some of the found data. application/pdf 2006 Selective Processing of Affective Pictures: A Study with the Attentional Blink Design 2011-03-25T09:25:05Z Weber, Katja 2011-03-25T09:25:05Z deposit-license

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