ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

心理学报 ›› 2009, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (09): 822-831.

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负性情绪刺激是否总是优先得到加工: ERP研究


  1. (北京师范大学认知神经科学与学习国家重点实验室, 北京 100875)
  • 收稿日期:2008-11-21 修回日期:1900-01-01 发布日期:2009-09-30 出版日期:2009-09-30
  • 通讯作者: 罗跃嘉

Can Negative Stimuli Always Have the Processing Superiority?

HUANG Yu-Xia;LUO Yue-Jia   

  1. State Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
  • Received:2008-11-21 Revised:1900-01-01 Online:2009-09-30 Published:2009-09-30
  • Contact: LUO Yue-Jia

摘要: 文献广泛报道负性情绪刺激在心理加工上占据优势地位, 而也有相当多的研究并未发现正、负性刺激在加工上的差异。不同实验中注意资源量的不同可能是造成这种分歧的原因。有研究提示, 在注意资源十分匮乏时, 机体无法区别对待正性和负性刺激, 那么在注意资源充足的情况下, 负性刺激是否一定优先得到加工?当前研究以正性、中性和负性情绪图片为刺激材料, 运用线索化范式操纵注意资源, 比较不同注意条件下各情绪刺激引起的ERP波幅的差别。结果发现, 有效提示条件下的反应正确率高于无效提示下的情况, P1、N1、P2和N2成分的波幅也在两个注意水平间出现差异, 当注意资源相对充足时, 正性与负性刺激引起的LPC波幅无显著差异, 而当注意资源相对短缺时, 负性条件引起较大的LPC波幅。这一研究表明, 情绪加工受到注意因素调节, 负性刺激在资源紧张时可以得到优先加工, 而当资源充足时, 机体可以调节资源分配而使正性刺激也得到充分加工。

关键词: 情绪负性偏向, 注意, 内隐情绪任务, 晚正成分(LPC)

Abstract: It is widely reported that emotional negative stimuli are processed preferentially relative to positive and neutral stimuli. But there are also many other studies that do not find the processing differences between nega-tive and positive stimuli. This divergence might result from the different attention levels among studies. Some researchers suggest that when attention resources are extremely scarce, organisms can not respond discrimi-nately to negative and positive information. Thus, one may ask whether negative stimuli must be treated prefer-entially if plenty of attention is available.
The current study manipulated attention by a cue-target paradigm. In the valid cueing condition, subjects could obtain sufficient attention resources, while in the invalid cueing condition, resources were relatively insufficient. It was noteworthy that both attention levels in the current experiment were far greater than the attention scarceness that was mentioned before. Positive, neutral and negative pictures from the International Affective Picture System and the Chinese Affective Picture System were transformed into upper and lower adjacent patchworks of a normal scene and its inverted copy. Seventeen undergraduate students participated in the study. They were instructed to pay attention to the structure of the patchworks and to judge whether the normal scene was located in the upper or lower part of the whole patchwork. This implicit task was used to avoid the task relevance effect.
The behavioral data showed that the response accuracy in the valid cueing condition was significantly higher than that in the invalid cueing condition. Amplitudes of P1, N1, P2 and N2 components were also modu-lated by attention level. Significant interactions between emotion and attention were found in LPC difference waves. In the sufficient attention condition, there was no obvious difference between ‘positive minus neutral’ and ‘negative minus neutral’. In contrast, the LPC amplitude of ‘negative minus neutral’ was significantly larger than that of ‘positive minus neutral’ when the attention resource was relatively inadequate.
This study suggests that when enough attention resources are available, positive information can be proc-essed in the same way as negative information, i.e., negativity bias does not necessarily show up in circum-stances of sufficient attention. The processing superiority of negative events is more likely to take effect in situations where attention resources are not adequate. The phenomenon that emotional processing is modulated by attention is a manifestation of adaptation to environments. More work, such as manipulating attention sys-tematically to observe the influence on emotional processing, is needed to explore this issue further.

Key words: emotional negativity bias, attention, implicit emotional task, late positive component