ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2014, Vol. 22 ›› Issue (3): 422-430.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2014.00422

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Emotion-induced Blindness: A Kind of Particular Functional Blindness

CHEN Wuying;LU Jiamei;LIU Lianqi;ZHOU Yangen   

  1. (1 School of Education, Shanghai Normal University, Shanghai 200235, China) (2 School of Educational Science, Jiangsu Normal University, Jiangsu Xuzhou 221116, China) (3 Publicity Department, Xuzhou Institute of Technology, Jiangsu Xuzhou 221008, China)
  • Received:2013-09-06 Online:2014-03-15 Published:2014-03-15
  • Contact: LU Jiamei


Functional blindness involves the reported loss of visual awareness in the absence of organic reasons to explain the impaired vision, such as change blindness and attention blink, etc. Emotion-induced blindness (EiB) refers to a phenomenon in which the brief appearance of a task-irrelevant, emotionally arousing image captures attention to such an extent that individuals cannot detect target stimuli which present with high speed after the emotional stimulus. The EiB differ from attention blink, especially from emotional attention blink in term of the process being measured and the results. Emotional stimulus is critical distraction in the EiB research and so we can explore how emotional stimulus capture attention and interfere with the process of target stimulus by bottom-up processing. Therefore, blindness induced by emotional stimulus has its own characteristics, such as the EiB has no lag1 sparing, no strict time window as attention blink, not influenced by the similarity between distraction and target stimulus, and the mental mechanism is a competition of perception in early stage. The EiB is a kind of unique research method which could be used to explore the influence of emotion on attention not only in the process of time but also in the position of space. We need do more work for an in-depth study of EiB in the future, including investigating it’s neural mechanism and influential factors.

Key words: emotion-induced blindness, emotional attention blink, emotion, attention, functional blindness