4 years ago

The impact of personal relevance on emotion processing: Evidence from event-related potentials and pupillary responses.

Ruthmann K, Schacht A, Bayer M
Emotional stimuli attract attention and lead to increased activity in the visual cortex. The present study investigated the impact of personal relevance on emotion processing by presenting emotional words within sentences that referred to participants' significant others or to unknown agents. In event-related potentials, personal relevance increased visual cortex activity within 100 ms after stimulus onset and the amplitudes of the Late Positive Complex (LPC). Moreover, personally relevant contexts gave rise to augmented pupillary responses and higher arousal ratings, suggesting a general boost of attention and arousal. Finally, personal relevance increased emotion-related ERP effects starting around 200 ms after word onset, effects for negative words compared to neutral words were prolonged in duration. Source localizations of these interactions revealed activations in prefrontal regions, in the visual cortex and in the fusiform gyrus. Taken together, these results demonstrate the high impact of personal relevance on reading in general and on emotion processing in particular.

Publisher URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28541505

DOI: PubMed:28541505

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