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ERIC Number: EJ903621
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Dec
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0278-2626
Attentional Modulation of Visual-Evoked Potentials by Threat: Investigating the Effect of Evolutionary Relevance
Brown, Christopher; El-Deredy, Wael; Blanchette, Isabelle
Brain and Cognition, v74 n3 p281-287 Dec 2010
In dot-probe tasks, threatening cues facilitate attention to targets and enhance the amplitude of the target P1 peak of the visual-evoked potential. While theories have suggested that evolutionarily relevant threats should obtain preferential neural processing, this has not been examined empirically. In this study we examined the effects of evolutionarily relevant (e.g. spiders and snakes) and irrelevant (e.g. knifes and syringes) threatening cues. Non-predictive threatening cues (in left or right visual field) were paired with non-threatening cues and were followed by neutral targets in the same or opposite location. The amplitude of the target P1 was increased in contralateral electrodes when the target followed in the same location as the threatening cues. This effect did not interact with evolutionary relevance. Both evolutionary relevant and evolutionary irrelevant threats led to increased P1 amplitude, although the effect was stronger for modern threats. We conclude that the threat-superiority effect is robust and largely independent of the type of threatening stimulus. (Contains 4 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A