Emotion based attentional priority for storage in visual short-term memory

Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10545/595922
Title:
Emotion based attentional priority for storage in visual short-term memory
Authors:
Simione, Luca; Calabrese, Lucia; Belardinelli, Marta Olivetti; MARUCCI, Francesco Saverio ( 0000-0003-4080-0849 ) ; RAFFONE, Antonino ( 0000-0003-1916-2213 ) ; Maratos, Frances A. ( 0000-0001-5738-6491 )
Abstract:
A plethora of research demonstrates that the processing of emotional faces is prioritised over non-emotive stimuli when cognitive resources are limited (this is known as ‘emotional superiority’). However, there is debate as to whether competition for processing resources results in emotional superiority per se, or more specifically, threat superiority. Therefore, to investigate prioritisation of emotional stimuli for storage in visual short-term memory (VSTM), we devised an original VSTM report procedure using schematic (angry, happy, neutral) faces in which processing competition was manipulated. In Experiment 1, display exposure time was manipulated to create competition between stimuli. Participants (n = 20) had to recall a probed stimulus from a set size of four under high (150 ms array exposure duration) and low (400 ms array exposure duration) perceptual processing competition. For the high competition condition (i.e. 150 ms exposure), results revealed an emotional superiority effect per se. In Experiment 2 (n = 20), we increased competition by manipulating set size (three versus five stimuli), whilst maintaining a constrained array exposure duration of 150 ms. Here, for the five-stimulus set size (i.e. maximal competition) only threat superiority emerged. These findings demonstrate attentional prioritisation for storage in VSTM for emotional faces. We argue that task demands modulated the availability of processing resources and consequently the relative magnitude of the emotional/threat superiority effect, with only threatening stimuli prioritised for storage in VSTM under more demanding processing conditions. Our results are discussed in light of models and theories of visual selection, and not only combine the two strands of research (i.e. visual selection and emotion), but highlight a critical factor in the processing of emotional stimuli is availability of processing resources, which is further constrained by task demands.
Affiliation:
University of Derby
Citation:
Simione, L, Calabrese, L, Marucci, F, Belardinelli, M, Raffone, A, & Maratos, F n.d., 'Emotion Based Attentional Priority for Storage in Visual Short-Term Memory', Plos One, 9, 5
Publisher:
PLOS
Journal:
PLoS ONE
Issue Date:
1-May-2014
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10545/595922
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0095261
Additional Links:
http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0095261
Type:
Article
Language:
en
ISSN:
1932-6203
Appears in Collections:
Centre for Psychological Research

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorSimione, Lucaen
dc.contributor.authorCalabrese, Luciaen
dc.contributor.authorBelardinelli, Marta Olivettien
dc.contributor.authorMARUCCI, Francesco Saverioen
dc.contributor.authorRAFFONE, Antoninoen
dc.contributor.authorMaratos, Frances A.en
dc.date.accessioned2016-02-09T10:36:57Zen
dc.date.available2016-02-09T10:36:57Zen
dc.date.issued2014-05-01en
dc.identifier.citationSimione, L, Calabrese, L, Marucci, F, Belardinelli, M, Raffone, A, & Maratos, F n.d., 'Emotion Based Attentional Priority for Storage in Visual Short-Term Memory', Plos One, 9, 5en
dc.identifier.issn1932-6203en
dc.identifier.doi10.1371/journal.pone.0095261en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10545/595922en
dc.description.abstractA plethora of research demonstrates that the processing of emotional faces is prioritised over non-emotive stimuli when cognitive resources are limited (this is known as ‘emotional superiority’). However, there is debate as to whether competition for processing resources results in emotional superiority per se, or more specifically, threat superiority. Therefore, to investigate prioritisation of emotional stimuli for storage in visual short-term memory (VSTM), we devised an original VSTM report procedure using schematic (angry, happy, neutral) faces in which processing competition was manipulated. In Experiment 1, display exposure time was manipulated to create competition between stimuli. Participants (n = 20) had to recall a probed stimulus from a set size of four under high (150 ms array exposure duration) and low (400 ms array exposure duration) perceptual processing competition. For the high competition condition (i.e. 150 ms exposure), results revealed an emotional superiority effect per se. In Experiment 2 (n = 20), we increased competition by manipulating set size (three versus five stimuli), whilst maintaining a constrained array exposure duration of 150 ms. Here, for the five-stimulus set size (i.e. maximal competition) only threat superiority emerged. These findings demonstrate attentional prioritisation for storage in VSTM for emotional faces. We argue that task demands modulated the availability of processing resources and consequently the relative magnitude of the emotional/threat superiority effect, with only threatening stimuli prioritised for storage in VSTM under more demanding processing conditions. Our results are discussed in light of models and theories of visual selection, and not only combine the two strands of research (i.e. visual selection and emotion), but highlight a critical factor in the processing of emotional stimuli is availability of processing resources, which is further constrained by task demands.en
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherPLOSen
dc.relation.urlhttp://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0095261en
dc.rightsArchived with thanks to PLoS ONEen
dc.subjectEmotion superiorityen
dc.subjectThreat superiorityen
dc.subjectAttentional selectionen
dc.subjectvisual short-term memoryen
dc.subjectFace processingen
dc.subjectBiased competitionen
dc.titleEmotion based attentional priority for storage in visual short-term memoryen
dc.typeArticleen
dc.contributor.departmentUniversity of Derbyen
dc.identifier.journalPLoS ONEen
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