Emotional influences on time perception: evidence from event-related potentials

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This study examined the influence of emotion on time perception and its neural correlates by measuring event-related potentials. Participants were asked to discriminate a previously memorized 700 ms ‘standard’ duration from 490, 700 and 910 ms, which were presented by emotional and neutral faces. The results showed decreased contingent negative variation potentials, which index timing, for emotional conditions versus the neutral condition. In addition, under the emotional conditions, the P160 and P240 amplitudes were enhanced and the N230 amplitude was decreased. These findings suggest that temporal processing can be modulated by emotion, even within 200 ms of the stimulus onset, and that the attentional bias for emotion attenuates the cognitive resources for time perception.

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