Positive and negative emotion enhances the processing of famous faces in a semantic judgment task

Bate, Sarah, Haslam, Catherine, Hodgson, Timothy L. , Jansari, Ashok, Gregory, Nicola and Kay, Janice (2010) Positive and negative emotion enhances the processing of famous faces in a semantic judgment task. Neuropsychology, 24 (1). pp. 84-89. ISSN 0894-4105

Full content URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0017202

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Item Type:Article
Item Status:Live Archive


Previous work has consistently reported a facilitatory influence of positive emotion in face recognition (e.g., D'Argembeau, Van der Linden, Comblain, & Etienne, 2003). However, these reports asked participants to make recognition judgments in response to faces, and it is unknown whether emotional valence may influence other stages of processing, such as at the level of semantics. Furthermore, other evidence suggests that negative rather than positive emotion facilitates higher level judgments when processing nonfacial stimuli (e.g., Mickley & Kensinger, 2008), and it is possible that negative emotion also influences latter stages of face processing. The present study addressed this issue, examining the influence of emotional valence while participants made semantic judgments in response to a set of famous faces. Eye movements were monitored while participants performed this task, and analyses revealed a reduction in information extraction for the faces of liked and disliked celebrities compared with those of emotionally neutral celebrities. Thus, in contrast to work using familiarity judgments, both positive and negative emotion facilitated processing in this semantic-based task. This pattern of findings is discussed in relation to current models of face processing. © 2010 American Psychological Association.

Keywords:adult, aged, article, controlled study, decision making, emotion, eye fixation, eye movement, face profile, female, human, human experiment, male, mental task, normal human, pattern recognition, perceptive discrimination, prediction, priority journal, response time, semantic memory, stimulus response, task performance, visual information, visual memory, visual stimulation, face, facial expression, methodology, middle aged, neuropsychological test, photostimulation, physiology, reaction time, recognition, semantics, Adult, Emotions, Eye Movements, Humans, Judgment, Neuropsychological Tests, Pattern Recognition, Visual, Photic Stimulation, Recognition (Psychology), Semantics
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C850 Cognitive Psychology
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
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ID Code:10518
Deposited On:29 Jul 2013 09:47

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