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ERIC Number: EJ834113
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Apr
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 72
ISSN: ISSN-0096-1523
Emotional Scene Content Drives the Saccade Generation System Reflexively
Nummenmaa, Lauri; Hyona, Jukka; Calvo, Manuel G.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, v35 n2 p305-323 Apr 2009
The authors assessed whether parafoveal perception of emotional content influences saccade programming. In Experiment 1, paired emotional and neutral scenes were presented to parafoveal vision. Participants performed voluntary saccades toward either of the scenes according to an imperative signal (color cue). Saccadic reaction times were faster when the cue pointed toward the emotional picture rather than toward the neutral picture. Experiment 2 replicated these findings with a reflexive saccade task, in which abrupt luminosity changes were used as exogenous saccade cues. In Experiment 3, participants performed vertical reflexive saccades that were orthogonal to the emotional-neutral picture locations. Saccade endpoints and trajectories deviated away from the visual field in which the emotional scenes were presented. Experiment 4 showed that computationally modeled visual saliency does not vary as a function of scene content and that inversion abolishes the rapid orienting toward the emotional scenes. Visual confounds cannot thus explain the results. The authors conclude that early saccade target selection and execution processes are automatically influenced by emotional picture content. This reveals processing of meaningful scene content prior to overt attention to the stimulus. (Contains 2 tables and 11 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A