Preparing for the Worst: Attention is Enhanced Prior to Any Upcoming Emotional or Neutral Stimulus

פרסום מחקרי: פרסום בכתב עתמאמרביקורת עמיתים


Do people allocate more or fewer attentional resources when preparing for negative emotional visual stimuli to appear? In three experiments (total N = 150), participants performed a change-detection task while expecting a neutral, threatening, disgusting, or joyful stimulus or no stimulus to appear at a fixed moment. Responses to an infrequent dot probe were faster when participants were expecting a distracting stimulus. Importantly, although only negative stimuli impaired change-detection performance, there was no difference between the preparation effect for threatening and neutral stimuli (Experiment 1) or disgusting and joyful stimuli (Experiment 3). The preparation effects were also unaffected by the participant’s anxiety level. Experiment 2 confirmed that the threatening images affected performance when the dot probe appeared after the image. These results suggest that the visual system increases alertness in response to any upcoming stimulus and further imply that the effects of emotional stimuli largely occur after, but not before, the stimuli appear.

שפה מקוריתאנגלית
עמודים (מ-עד)256-266
מספר עמודים11
כתב עתPsychological Science
מספר גיליון2
מזהי עצם דיגיטלי (DOIs)
סטטוס פרסוםפורסם - פבר׳ 2021

הערה ביבליוגרפית

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021.

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