Do not look there: the impact of facial expression on location negative priming

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Abstract

This study used the location negative priming (NP) paradigm and the recording of event-related potentials to examine the mechanism of the impact of emotional stimulus on subsequent spatial attentional processing. The results shown to be relative to the happy and neutral condition, a significant behavioural NP effect, as well as decreased N2, increased N2pc, and P3 amplitudes for NP condition, were found selectively in the fearful prime distractor condition. These findings suggest that the effect of fearful stimulus on location NP may be related to early-inhibition processing. Larger P3 amplitudes may reflect the use of increased cognitive resources when one is necessary for overcoming the tendency to avoid viewing the position where a fearful stimulus has recently been seen.

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