The Effect of Emotional Conflict on Attention Allocation: An Event-Related Potential Study


Attention allocation research frequently focuses on the valence of emotion. However, there is increasing evidence to indicate that arousal may be more relevant at some stages of affective processing. The present study employed a combined priming and cue-target paradigm and examined event-related potentials (ERPs) in order to explore the effects of emotional conflict of arousal on attention allocation. The background context of arousal was manipulated (using photos of facial expressions) while subjects performed a cognitive task in which a central arrow cue indicated the location of a peripheric target square, and a response was made according to the direction of the square. There was no main effect between incongruent emotion and congruent emotion in the response time, which means the resolution of the emotional conflict facilitate the participant behavioral response. There was a main effect of different emotional states on ERP component. In the present study, incongruent arousal also triggered greater positive potential compared with congruent arousal.

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Zhu, M. , Ma, J. , Jiang, Q. , Luo, W. , Hou, M. and Chen, X. (2015) The Effect of Emotional Conflict on Attention Allocation: An Event-Related Potential Study. Health, 7, 183-191. doi: 10.4236/health.2015.72021.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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