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ERIC Number: EJ1007118
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Feb
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 42
ISSN: ISSN-0096-1523
"Hot" Facilitation of "Cool" Processing: Emotional Distraction Can Enhance Priming of Visual Search
Kristjansson, Arni; Oladottir, Berglind; Most, Steven B.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, v39 n1 p298-306 Feb 2013
Emotional stimuli often capture attention and disrupt effortful cognitive processing. However, cognitive processes vary in the degree to which they require effort. We investigated the impact of emotional pictures on visual search and on automatic priming of search. Observers performed visual search after task-irrelevant neutral or emotionally evocative photographs. Search performance was generally impaired after emotional pictures, but improvement (measured both with inverse efficiency and sensitivity to briefly presented targets) as a function of incremental between-trial target-color repetition was strongest after emotional pictures. For observers showing the largest general effect of emotional pictures, there was a reversal, with performance becoming better after neutral pictures than after four or more trials containing the same search target. This suggests that although emotional pictures disrupt effortful attention, this detriment can be overcome--to the point where performance is enhanced by emotional stimuli--when the task involves prepotent task priorities. (Contains 3 figures, 2 tables and 3 footnotes.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A