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Carys K. Ball, Jane E. Raymond; Emotional repetition blindness. Journal of Vision 2007;7(9):693. doi: 10.1167/7.9.693.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Repetition Blindness (RB) is a temporary visual processing deficit that occurs when two similar items are presented in close temporal proximity: perception of the second item is often impaired. Although studied primarily using words, RB has also been reported for dissimilar visual images that are semantically similar (e.g., images of a helicopter and an airplane). Here we ask whether an object's emotional valence (positive or negative), like its semantic properties, is also susceptible to RB. We presented participants with an RSVP stream containing 6 fillers and 2 objects (C1, C2) and asked them to report the emotional valence (good, bad; Exp 1) or category (animate, inanimate; Exp 2) of both objects. C1 and C2 were emotional colour images that were either (1) identical repetitions (e.g., C1 = knife, C2 = the same image of a knife); (2) emotional repetitions but unrelated semantically and visually (e.g., C1 = knife, C2 = shark); or (3) no repetition, where the two items had opposite emotional valences (e.g., C1 = shark, C2 = butterfly). We used two different report conditions (using the same stimulus set) to determine if emotional RB is due to a failure to individuate task-relevant features or whole object representations. We also consider that the successive presentations used in our experiment are similar to affective priming paradigms that show facilitation for report of a second stimulus when the first and second are emotionally congruent. Affective priming predicts enhanced performance for emotional repetition in both response conditions (i.e., no RB). Failure to report items seen in the three stimulus conditions and two report conditions will be compared. Our findings will be discussed in terms of how attentional states control and filter emotional awareness.
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