Can bottom-up processes of attention be a source of "interference" in situations where top-down control of attention is crucial? [Online First]

Nikolla, Dritan and Edgar, Graham K and Catherwood, Dianne F and Matthews, Tristan (2017) Can bottom-up processes of attention be a source of "interference" in situations where top-down control of attention is crucial? [Online First]. British Journal of Psychology. ISSN 2044-8295 (In Press)

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Abstract

In this study we investigate whether emotionally engaged bottom-up processes of attention can be a source of "interference" in situations where top-down control of attention is necessary. Participants were asked to monitor and report on a video of a war scenario showing a developing battle in two conditions: emotionally positive and emotionally negative. Half of the participants (n = 15) were exposed to task-irrelevant pictures of positive emotional valence embedded within the scenario; the other half were exposed to task-irrelevant pictures of negative emotional valence. Sensitivity and bias scores were calculated using Signal Detection Theory. Overall, task accuracy scores were dependent upon the valence; negative pictures had an adverse effect on performance, whereas positive pictures improved performance. We concluded that negative emotional pictures interfered with top-down control of attention by attracting competing bottom-up processes of attention. We found the opposite effect for positive emotional stimuli.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Situation awareness; affective state;attention; emotion; signal detection theory; bias; memory; top-down attention; bottom-up attention; quantitative analysis of situation awareness; situation awareness; IAPS ; military; negative emotions; positive emotions
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Natural & Social Sciences > Psychological Sciences
Research Priority Areas: Sport, Exercise, Health & Wellbeing
Depositing User: Graham Edgar
Date Deposited: 23 May 2017 10:24
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2017 09:05
URI: http://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/4622

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