ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

心理科学进展 ›› 2024, Vol. 32 ›› Issue (1): 58-74.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2024.00058

• 研究前沿 • 上一篇    下一篇


孙猛1,2, 刘泽军3, 贾茜4, 尚晨阳2, 张钦2()   

  1. 1安徽医科大学精神卫生与心理科学学院, 合肥 230032
    2北京市“学习与认知”重点实验室, 首都师范大学心理学院, 北京 100048
    3上海师范大学教育学院心理学系, 上海 200233
    4杭州师范大学基础医学院脑科学研究所, 杭州 300387
  • 收稿日期:2023-04-07 出版日期:2024-01-15 发布日期:2023-10-25
  • 通讯作者: 张钦
  • 基金资助:

Emotional T2 attenuates attentional blink: A window to understanding the preferential processing of emotion

SUN Meng1,2, LIU Zejun3, JIA Xi4, SHANG Chenyang2, ZHANG Qin2()   

  1. 1The School of Mental Health and Psychological Sciences, Anhui Medical University, Hefei 230032, China
    2Beijing Key Laboratory of “Learning & Cognition”; School of Psychology, Capital Normal University, Beijing 100048, China
    3Department of Psychology, Educational College, Shanghai Normal University, Shanghai 200234, China
    4Institute of Brain Science and Department of Physiology, School of basic medical sciences, Hangzhou Normal University, Hangzhou 311121, China
  • Received:2023-04-07 Online:2024-01-15 Published:2023-10-25
  • Contact: ZHANG Qin


注意瞬脱是指从一系列干扰刺激中识别两个目标时, 识别第一个目标(T1)往往会干扰之后200~ 500 ms内出现的第二个目标(T2)的识别, 该现象反映了时间维度上的意识加工局限性。但研究发现, 与中性T2相比, 情绪T2可以在一定程度上对抗注意瞬脱。这为我们理解人类对情绪刺激的优先意识加工提供了一个观察窗口和研究手段。情绪T2对抗注意瞬脱受T1任务难度、T2任务类型和情绪预期等因素的影响, 该过程涉及的脑区主要包括杏仁核、前扣带回和眶额皮层等区域; 在时间进程上, 情绪相比中性T2在认知加工的早期和晚期阶段都表现出增强的效应。情绪对抗注意瞬脱的认知神经机制可以用注意增强和巩固竞争假说来解释, 即由杏仁核介导的情绪信息早期注意捕获是导致情绪对抗注意瞬脱的关键, 而晚期的巩固过程受到任务要求等自上而下因素的影响。

关键词: 情绪, 注意瞬脱, 快速序列视觉呈现


Attentional blink (AB) refers to the phenomenon in which identifying the first target (T1) in a series of distractors often interferes with the recognition of the second target (T2) occurring within 200~500 ms after T1. This phenomenon reflects the limitation of conscious processing in temporal dimension. However, studies have found that compared to neutral T2, emotional T2 can attenuate attentional blink. This provides an observation window and a research tool for understanding the prioritized processing of emotional stimuli in humans. The attenuation effect of emotional T2 on AB is influenced by factors such as T2 arousal, T1 task difficulty, T2 task demand, emotional expectation, and anxiety levels. It is generally believed that the arousal level of emotional T2 plays a crucial role in attenuating AB. However, when the difficulty of the T1 task increases, the preferential processing of emotional T2 is partially inhibited. Individuals determine the depth of processing for emotional target T2 based on task demands. In the detection task, emotional T2 is more easily detected as potential target compared to neutral T2, showing a detection advantage. However, whether this detection advantage can be translated into a discrimination advantage depends on the emotional relevance of the task demand. In emotion recognition tasks, task-relevant emotional information appearing within AB period can be effectively extracted. However, in non-emotion recognition tasks, the late-stage elaborate processing of task-irrelevant emotional information is inhibited by task demands and emotional expectations. Anxious individuals are more sensitive to negative emotional stimuli, which increases the attenuation effect of emotion on AB. In addition, emotional T2 still exhibits an emotional processing advantage when appearing at lag 1 compared to neutral T2, although most studies have not found the Lag 1 sparing effect of emotional T2.

The attenuation effect of emotional T2 on AB primarily involves regions associated with reactive processing of emotional information, such as the amygdala and the anterior cingulate cortex. Patients with amygdala lesion are unable to exhibit the attenuation effect of emotional T2 on AB. The activation of the amygdala is associated with early emotional responses, while the anterior cingulate cortex may be involved in early attentional selection of emotional information. In the temporal dimension, EEG results indicate that emotional T2 has processing advantages across multiple cognitive stages compared to neutral T2, and the enhanced early-stage sensory processing of emotional information is crucial.

Based on the two-stage model, we propose the " Attentional Enhancement and Consolidation Competition Hypothesis " hypothesis, which suggests that the processing of target mainly consists of two stages: detection and consolidation. During the early target detection stage, the emotional saliency of T2 allows the stimuli to capture attention rapidly and obtain enhanced processing. This attentional enhancement enables individuals to detect more emotional targets. Furthermore, stimuli that receive attentional enhancement during the target detection stage are less interference from masking stimuli during T1 consolidation and are more likely to enter the consolidation stage. Whether this advantage can be transformed into a consolidation advantage is influenced by top-down factors such as task demand and emotional expectation. When the task demand is related to emotional features, emotional information gains a consolidation advantage. When the task demand is related to non-emotional features, the elaborate representation of emotional information would be suppressed, especially under high emotional expectancy conditions. In summary, the attenuation effect of emotion on AB involves both automatic emotional processing and goal-oriented processing driven by top-down factors. The emotional saliency of emotional T2 itself promotes early attentional selection within the blink period, primarily driven by subcortical regions such as the amygdala. The consolidation of emotional T2 is influenced by factors such as task demand and is primarily modulated by prefrontal cortical areas associated with cognitive control.

In future research, it would be beneficial to investigate how the amygdala, anterior cingulate cortex, and prefrontal cortex coordinate in the attenuation effect of emotion on attentional blink. Additionally, it is important to investigate whether these brain regions have separate roles in both emotion-implicit tasks and emotion-explicit tasks.

Key words: emotion, attentional blink, rapid serial visual presentation