KIND Seminar: Never mind what you are looking at: Event-related potential studies of emotional distracters at fixation
Humans benefit from attending to emotional stimuli because these stimuli may be relevant for their needs. However, if the emotional stimuli are irrelevant to their current task goal, then these stimuli become distracters that might interfere with the goal-directed behavior. To examine the limits of attending away from emotional stimuli, participants were shown emotional pictures at fixation but were told to ignore these distracters and instead focus on another task (e.g., to perform a discrimination task on peripheral letters). Event-related potentials (i.e., EPN and LPP) were recorded to index allocation of attentional resources to the distracters. I will review studies on whether attentional effects of the emotional distracters at fixation can be eliminated, whether complexity, valence, and arousal of the emotional distracters plays a role, and whether effects differ for task manipulations such as spatial attention, perceptual load, and working memory load.
Professor,Stefan Wiens, Department of Psychology