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Emotion has no impact on attention in a change detection flicker task

Bendall, RCA and Thompson, C 2015, 'Emotion has no impact on attention in a change detection flicker task' , Frontiers in Psychology, 6 (1592) , pp. 1-9.

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Past research provides conflicting findings regarding the influence of emotion on visual attention. Early studies suggested a broadening of attentional resources in relation to positive mood. However, more recent evidence indicates that positive emotions may not have a beneficial impact on attention, and that the relationship between emotion and attention may be mitigated by factors such as task demand or stimulus valence. The current study explored the effect of emotion on attention using the change detection flicker paradigm. Participants were induced into positive, neutral, and negative mood states and then completed a change detection task. A series of neutral scenes were presented and participants had to identify the location of a disappearing item in each scene. The change was made to the center or the periphery of each scene and it was predicted that peripheral changes would be detected quicker in the positive mood condition and slower in the negative mood condition, compared to the neutral condition. In contrast to previous findings emotion had no influence on attention and whilst central changes were detected faster than peripheral changes, change blindness was not affected by mood. The findings suggest that the relationship between emotion and visual attention is influenced by the characteristics of a task, and any beneficial impact of positive emotion may be related to processing style rather than a “broadening” of attentional resources.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Health Sciences > Centre for Health Sciences Research
Journal or Publication Title: Frontiers in Psychology
Publisher: Frontiers
ISSN: 1664-1078
Related URLs:
Funders: Non funded research
Depositing User: Robert Bendall
Date Deposited: 26 Oct 2015 11:48
Last Modified: 26 Oct 2015 11:48

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