ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2016, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (Suppl.): 56-.

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Emotion Cognition Requires Very Little Attention and Varies with the Competing Task

Cheng Chen; Kaibin Jin; Hongmei Yan   

  1. Key Laboratory for NeuroInformation of Ministry of Education, Center for Information in BioMedicine, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, No. 4, Section 2, North Jianshe Road, Chenghua Dist., Chengdu, China, 610054
    Chengdu College of University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, No. 1, Baiye Road, West High-tech Zone, Chengdu, China, 611731
  • Online:2016-12-31 Published:2016-12-31


PURPOSE: The present study aimed at investigating the relationship between emotion cognition and attention and the possible neuromechanism. It aimed to probe whether emotion cognition is an automatic process and independent of attention or it is modulated by attentional resource and belongs to a kind of controlled processing.
METHODS: The present research adopted eye tracking technology and dual-task paradigm. The subjects’ attention was manipulated to fixate at the central task to study whether subjects could detect the emotional faces presented in an area with a decrease of near-absence of attention.
RESULTS: The results revealed that since emotional stimuli had higher cognitive priority, its cognition required very little attentional resource. Also, the attentional dependence of emotion cognition varied with the competing task. When the central and peripheral tasks were both emotional faces discrimination, the subjects could not perform well in the peripheral task, showing that the attentional resource a?ected emotion cognition. However, when the peripheral task was emotional face discrimination but the central task was different, the subjects performed well in the peripheral task.
CONCLUSIONS: The processing of emotional information required very little attentional resource and it is a kind of controlled processing. Emotional information can be processed parallelly with other stimuli and there may be a speci?c channel in human brain to process emotional information, supporting multiple resource theory.

Key words: Emotion, Attention, Cognition, Multiple resource model, Dual-task