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No prior entry for threat-related faces: evidence from temporal order judgments

Antonio Schettino (UGent) , Tom Loeys (UGent) and Gilles Pourtois (UGent)
(2013) PLOS ONE. 8(4).
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Abstract
Previous research showed that threat-related faces, due to their intrinsic motivational relevance, capture attention more readily than neutral faces. Here we used a standard temporal order judgment (TOJ) task to assess whether negative (either angry or fearful) emotional faces, when competing with neutral faces for attention selection, may lead to a prior entry effect and hence be perceived as appearing first, especially when uncertainty is high regarding the order of the two onsets. We did not find evidence for this conjecture across five different experiments, despite the fact that participants were invariably influenced by asynchronies in the respective onsets of the two competing faces in the pair, and could reliably identify the emotion in the faces. Importantly, by systematically varying task demands across experiments, we could rule out confounds related to suboptimal stimulus presentation or inappropriate task demands. These findings challenge the notion of an early automatic capture of attention by (negative) emotion. Future studies are needed to investigate whether the lack of systematic bias of attention by emotion is imputed to the primacy of a non-emotional cue to resolve the TOJ task, which in turn prevents negative emotion to exert an early bottom-up influence on the guidance of spatial and temporal attention.
Keywords
EVENT-RELATED FMRI, VISUAL PRIOR ENTRY, SELECTIVE ATTENTION, FACIAL EXPRESSION, NEURAL MECHANISMS, EMOTIONAL EXPRESSIONS, SEARCH ASYMMETRIES, ANGER-SUPERIORITY, SPATIAL ATTENTION, SCHEMATIC FACES

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Citation

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MLA
Schettino, Antonio, et al. “No Prior Entry for Threat-Related Faces: Evidence from Temporal Order Judgments.” PLOS ONE, vol. 8, no. 4, 2013, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0062296.
APA
Schettino, A., Loeys, T., & Pourtois, G. (2013). No prior entry for threat-related faces: evidence from temporal order judgments. PLOS ONE, 8(4). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0062296
Chicago author-date
Schettino, Antonio, Tom Loeys, and Gilles Pourtois. 2013. “No Prior Entry for Threat-Related Faces: Evidence from Temporal Order Judgments.” PLOS ONE 8 (4). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0062296.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Schettino, Antonio, Tom Loeys, and Gilles Pourtois. 2013. “No Prior Entry for Threat-Related Faces: Evidence from Temporal Order Judgments.” PLOS ONE 8 (4). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0062296.
Vancouver
1.
Schettino A, Loeys T, Pourtois G. No prior entry for threat-related faces: evidence from temporal order judgments. PLOS ONE. 2013;8(4).
IEEE
[1]
A. Schettino, T. Loeys, and G. Pourtois, “No prior entry for threat-related faces: evidence from temporal order judgments,” PLOS ONE, vol. 8, no. 4, 2013.
@article{3183878,
  abstract     = {{Previous research showed that threat-related faces, due to their intrinsic motivational relevance, capture attention more readily than neutral faces. Here we used a standard temporal order judgment (TOJ) task to assess whether negative (either angry or fearful) emotional faces, when competing with neutral faces for attention selection, may lead to a prior entry effect and hence be perceived as appearing first, especially when uncertainty is high regarding the order of the two onsets. We did not find evidence for this conjecture across five different experiments, despite the fact that participants were invariably influenced by asynchronies in the respective onsets of the two competing faces in the pair, and could reliably identify the emotion in the faces. Importantly, by systematically varying task demands across experiments, we could rule out confounds related to suboptimal stimulus presentation or inappropriate task demands. These findings challenge the notion of an early automatic capture of attention by (negative) emotion. Future studies are needed to investigate whether the lack of systematic bias of attention by emotion is imputed to the primacy of a non-emotional cue to resolve the TOJ task, which in turn prevents negative emotion to exert an early bottom-up influence on the guidance of spatial and temporal attention.}},
  articleno    = {{e62296}},
  author       = {{Schettino, Antonio and Loeys, Tom and Pourtois, Gilles}},
  issn         = {{1932-6203}},
  journal      = {{PLOS ONE}},
  keywords     = {{EVENT-RELATED FMRI,VISUAL PRIOR ENTRY,SELECTIVE ATTENTION,FACIAL EXPRESSION,NEURAL MECHANISMS,EMOTIONAL EXPRESSIONS,SEARCH ASYMMETRIES,ANGER-SUPERIORITY,SPATIAL ATTENTION,SCHEMATIC FACES}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  number       = {{4}},
  title        = {{No prior entry for threat-related faces: evidence from temporal order judgments}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0062296}},
  volume       = {{8}},
  year         = {{2013}},
}

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