ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

心理学报 ›› 2022, Vol. 54 ›› Issue (12): 1481-1490.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2022.01481

• 研究报告 • 上一篇    下一篇


陈晓宇1,2, 杜媛媛2, 刘强1,2()   

  1. 1四川师范大学脑与心理科学研究院, 成都 610066
    2辽宁师范大学脑与认知神经科学研究中心, 大连 11602
  • 收稿日期:2021-10-09 出版日期:2022-12-25 发布日期:2022-09-23
  • 通讯作者: 刘强
  • 基金资助:

Positive emotions enhance adaptability to contextual-cueing learning

CHEN Xiaoyu1,2, DU Yuanyuan2, LIU Qiang1,2()   

  1. 1Institute of Brain and Psychological Sciences, Sichuan Normal University, Chengdu 610066, China
    2Brain and Cognitive Neuroscience Research Center, Liaoning Normal University, Dalian 116029, China
  • Received:2021-10-09 Online:2022-12-25 Published:2022-09-23
  • Contact: LIU Qiang


背景线索的学习缺乏适应性, 这种缺乏表现在两个方面:其一是难以在已习得的场景表征上捆绑一个新目标位置(Re-learning), 也就是场景表征的更新受阻; 其二是在习得一组场景表征后, 难以学习另一组全新场景(New-learning)。研究表明, 在旧场景表征上捆绑一个新目标位置的能力可能与注意范围大小有关, 而学习全新场景则需要重置学习功能。积极情绪可以有效扩大注意范围, 并改善对旧有认知模式的固着, 因此积极情绪启动将有可能提升背景线索学习的适应性。本研究采用效价为中性和积极的情绪性图片来启动对应的情绪, 探索旧场景捆绑新目标位置时和学习全新场景时, 背景线索的学习情况, 验证积极情绪是否可以提高背景线索学习中的适应性。实验发现, 积极情绪无法促进旧场景上捆绑新目标位置的背景线索学习(Re-learning), 但是可以促进全新场景的学习(New-learning)。该结果说明, 积极情绪可以提高被试的场景学习能力进而促进对全新场景的学习, 却无法减少由表征相似性引起的旧表征的自动检索, 进而无法改善旧表征的更新过程。

关键词: 背景线索, 积极情绪, 情绪启动, 视觉搜索。


Contextual cueing refers to the global properties of a context or scene used to search for specific objects and regions. Chun and Jiang (1998) found that in a visual search, the reaction time to repeated configurations was shorter than the reaction time to newly generated configurations. The benefit of repeated context-target association is widely known as the contextual-cueing effect, which indicates that the subject has learned the contextual association by which attention is guided to facilitate the searching. However, the learning of contextual cueing lacks adaptability. When the subject has learned a set of contexts, it is difficult to update a new target into existing contexts (re-learning) or to learn a new set of contexts (new-learning). Previous studies have shown that restarted learning processes can facilitate the learning of new context-target associations, while updating old contexts is associated with the scope of attention. Notably, positive emotions could broaden the scope of attention and break the cognitive fixation on old processes; therefore, it is possible to improve the adaptability of contextual-cueing learning via positive emotions.

This study aimed to explore whether positive emotions could enhance the adaptability of contextual learning. To this end, we recruited a sample of 18 young adults with positive and neutral affective priming as experimental conditions and control conditions, respectively, which allowed us to explore the contextual-cueing effect under the conditions of re-learning and new-learning. It should be noted that contextual cueing was defined in operation as the reaction time to the newly generated configuration minus that to the repeated configuration.

The experiment was divided into two phases: the learning phase and the switch phase. In the learning phase, the subjects learned a set of contextual cues. In the switch phase, with the contextual-cueing effect as the dependent variable, a repeated measures ANOVA was conducted with the emotional valence (positive versus neutral), the new contextual-cueing learning type (re-learning versus new-learning), and the time phase (early phase versus late phase).

The results indicated that neutral emotions did not facilitate contextual-cueing learning irrespective of the new contextual-cueing learning type. However, positive emotion improved learning in the new-learning condition, in which the contextual-cueing effect was higher in positive emotions than in neutral emotions both in the late phase and the early phase, whereas the re-learning condition did not show any sign of a contextual- cueing effect above zero.

This study indicates that positive emotions can improve the adaptability of contextual-cueing learning and that the underlying mechanism restarts learning processing, which fails to prevent an automatic retrieval of the old presentations caused by similarity. Therefore, it facilitates the learning of new contextual cueing but does not update learned contextual cueing.

Key words: context cueing, positive emotion, affective priming, visual search