267 research outputs found

    Effects of selective attention on the C1 ERP component : a systematic review and meta-analysis

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    The C1 event-related potential (ERP) captures the earliest stage of feedforward processing in the primary visual cortex (V1). An ongoing debate is whether top-down selective attention can modulate the C1. One side of the debate pointed out that null findings appear to outnumber positive findings; thus, selective attention does not seem to influence the C1. However, this suggestion is not based on a valid approach to summarizing evidence across studies. Therefore, we conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis investigating the effects of selective attention on the C1, involving 47 experiments and 794 subjects in total. Despite heterogeneity across studies, results suggested that attention has a moderate effect on the C1 (Cohen's dzdz {d}_z = 0.33, p < .0001); that is, C1 amplitude is larger for visual stimuli that are attended than unattended. These results suggest that C1 is affected by top-down selective attention

    Top-down modulation of early visual processing in V1 : dissociable neurophysiological effects of spatial attention, attentional load and task-relevance

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    Until today, there is an ongoing discussion if attention processes interact with the information processing stream already at the level of the C1, the earliest visual electrophysiological response of the cortex. We used two highly powered experiments (each N = 52) and examined the effects of task relevance, spatial attention, and attentional load on individual C1 amplitudes for the upper or lower visual hemifield. Bayesian models revealed evidence for the absence of load effects but substantial modulations by task-relevance and spatial attention. When the C1-eliciting stimulus was a task-irrelevant, interfering distracter, we observed increased C1 amplitudes for spatially unattended stimuli. For spatially attended stimuli, different effects of task-relevance for the two experiments were found. Follow-up exploratory single-trial analyses revealed that subtle but systematic deviations from the eye-gaze position at stimulus onset between conditions substantially influenced the effects of attention and task relevance on C1 amplitudes, especially for the upper visual field. For the subsequent P1 component, attentional modulations were clearly expressed and remained unaffected by these deviations. Collectively, these results suggest that spatial attention, unlike load or task relevance, can exert dissociable top-down modulatory effects at the C1 and P1 levels

    The selective use of punishments on congruent versus incongruent trials in the Stroop task

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    Conflict adaptation refers to the dynamic modulation of conflict processing across successive trials and reflects improved cognitive control. Interestingly, aversive motivation can increase conflict adaptation, although it re-mains unclear through which process this modulation occurs because previous studies presented punishment feedback following suboptimal performance on both congruent and incongruent trials. According to integrative accounts of conflict monitoring and aversive motivation in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, punishment feedback following slow or erroneous performance on incongruent trials in particular should lead to improved conflict adaptation. Second, selectively increasing motivation on incongruent trials should reduce the overall congruency effect. The current study sought to test both hypotheses. Specifically, we administered the confound -minimized Stroop task to a large group of participants and manipulated the position of feedback (following either congruent or incongruent trials) and aversive motivation (tied to a monetary loss or not) across different blocks. As expected, the congruency effect was found to be smaller when punishment was coupled with incongruent versus congruent trials. However, results showed that conflict adaptation was increased when punishment feedback was selectively coupled with congruent rather than incongruent trials. Together, these results suggest that aversive motivation does not uniformly improve cognitive control but this gain appears to be context dependent

    Parsing the contributions of negative affect vs. aversive motivation to cognitive control: an experimental investigation

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    IntroductionPunishment is a powerful drive that fosters aversive motivation and increases negative affect. Previous studies have reported that this drive has the propensity to improve cognitive control, as shown by improved conflict processing when it is used. However, whether aversive motivation per se or negative affect eventually drives this change remains unclear because in previous work, the specific contribution of these two components could not be isolated.MethodsTo address this question, we conducted two experiments where we administered the confound minimized Stroop task to a large group of participants each time (N = 50 and N = 47 for Experiment 1 and 2, respectively) and manipulated punishment and feedback contingency using a factorial design. These two experiments were similar except that in the second one, we also measured awareness of feedback contingency at the subjective level. We reasoned that cognitive control would improve the most when punishment would be used, and the contingency between this motivational drive and performance would be reinforced, selectively.ResultsBoth experiments consistently showed that negative affect increased at the subjective level when punishment was used and the feedback was contingent on task performance, with these two effects being additive. In Experiment 1, we found that when the feedback was contingent on task performance and punishment was activated, conflict processing did not improve. In Experiment 2, we found that conflict processing improved when punishment was contingent on task performance, and participants were aware of this contingency.DiscussionThese results suggest that aversive motivation can improve conflict processing when participants are aware of the link created between punishment and performance

    Modulation of conflict processing by reappraisal : an experimental investigation

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    Negative affect facilitates conflict processing. Here we sought to assess whether symmetrically, its downregulation by means of reappraisal could lower it. To this end, 105 participants performed the confound-minimized Stroop task eliciting negative affect that was followed by a simple reward-related visual discrimination task. Conflict processing was induced with the former task. Half of them (experimental group) were instructed to use this second task to downregulate negative affect arising from the Stroop task. The other half (control group) did not receive these appraisal-related instructions. Group comparisons showed that negative affect and the conflict effect were similar for these two groups. However, when we added and modeled the subjective ratings related to emotion regulation, we found that conflict processing significantly improved for participants who reported using reappraisal spontaneously, and this gain occurred irrespective of negative affect. These results suggest that reappraisal can influence conflict processing but this change does not depend on negative affect

    Averaging multiple facial expressions through subsampling*

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    When perceivers view multiple facial expressions shown concurrently, they can quickly and precisely extract the mean emotion from the set. Yet it is not clear how many faces in the set contribute to summary judgments, and how the variance among them influences this process. To address these questions, we used the subset manipulation and varied emotion variance of faces in the sets across three experiments. Sets containing sixteen faces, or a subset of faces randomly selected from the sixteen-face display were presented, and participants judged the average emotion of each face set on a continuous scale. Results showed that when emotion variance was relatively large (Experiments 1 & 2), only two faces in the set contributed to ensemble representations. In Experiment 3 where the emotion variance was smaller, around three to four faces were likely sampled. However, when directly comparing results from Experiments 2 and 3, there was no strong evidence supporting the impact of variance in averaging efficiency. Altogether, these new results suggest that the process of averaging multiple emotional facial expressions can be explained by capacity-limited subsampling. The claim that ensemble representations are capacity unlimited or can overcome the bottlenecks in visual perception might need to be reconsidered

    The rise of affectivism

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    Research over the past decades has demonstrated the explanatory power of emotions, feelings, motivations, moods, and other affective processes when trying to understand and predict how we think and behave. In this consensus article, we ask: has the increasingly recognized impact of affective phenomena ushered in a new era, the era of affectivism
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