Emotion Induced Blindness

Topics: Psychology, Attention, Working memory Pages: 7 (2265 words) Published: April 9, 2013
Emotion –induced blindness
Emotional visual scenes are powerful attracters of attention. Evidence suggests that emotional stimuli themselves attract attention, and they can disrupt perception of subsequent stimuli (Anderson and Phelps, 2001). In a visual attention search task, faster reaction time has been found when target is an emotional stimulus than neutral stimuli (Ohman, Lundqvist, & Esteves, 2001). From these result it seems that emotional stimuli enhance perception of such target. However, what is the impact of emotional stimuli on other surrounding non-emotional stimuli. Recent studies suggest that emotional stimuli can impair perception of nearest non-emotional stimuli in rapid serial visual presentation task (Most et al., 2005). Studies using rapid serial visual presentation show that emotional stimuli affect the perception of surrounding non-emotional stimuli. This interaction between emotion and perception can be seen in everyday life. For example, a sudden car accident can impair perception of bus no. for which, you are looking from long time. This impairment caused by emotional stimuli on the perception of non-emotional stimuli called emotion-induced blindness. It seems very similar to attentional blink, as both work only in RSVP task and both show perceptual impairment for the second stimuli. Regardless of surface level similarities, mechanism following attentional blink is different from emotion-induced blindness. Attentional blink is caused by capacity limitation & impaired visual working memory(Chun & Potter, 1995) . Whereas emotion-induced blindness is results of impair perceptual processing (Briana L. Kennedy & Most, 2012). Emotion-induced blindness

Studies have shown that when task irrelevant emotional scenes preceded the target by two or eight items, emotional scenes impaired perception of target. In typical emotion-induced blindness task, participants view images that appear with in rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP), at the rate of about 12 images per second. Participants are instructed to search for single non-emotional target. An irrelevant emotional distracter stimulus also appears within the trials. At the end of the trials, participants have to respond for the target. Emotionally negative distracters depict aversive, highly arousing scenes such as violence, trauma, whereas neutral images depict animals or people with no emotions. Studies show that in spite of rapid presentation rate (12 image/second) participants were very accurate the target when the target appears nearly 1sec. after the distracter. Apart from that, when the target comes near to the emotional distracter, participants were less accurate about the orientation of the target. This shows that emotional distracter induced deficit in target processing. Evidence also suggests that emotionally negative stimulus induced grater deficit than neutral images (Most & Jung, 2008; Most & Wang, 2011).This pattern of disruption on perception of subsequent stimuli called emotion-induced blindness. On the surface, it seems very similar to attentional blink.

Attentional blink
Attentional blink is a phenomenon that second of two targets cannot be identified when it appears close in time & space to first target (Raymond, Shapiro, & Arnell, 1992). Evidences suggest that AB is caused by capacity limitation in the encoding of the target in to visual short-term memory (Visser, 2007; Luck & Shapiro, 1998). First stimuli that come first, consume all resources in encoding in to visual short-term memory. Since first target is in encoding process second target must have to wait. Since there is a resource limitation, that one stimulus can be process at a time and this consolidation takes time. If the second target comes nearer to first one, it impair the identification of second target but if the second target appear far enough till the first target finished their consolidation. That is why studies...
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