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Shwu-Lih Huang, Hung-Ta Chung, Yu-Chieh Chang; On the time course of exogenous cuing by the emotional faces. Journal of Vision 2011;11(11):109. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/11.11.109.
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Threatening stimuli can have effects on attention have been supported by previous studies. In the cuing task, using an angry face as the cue was found to slow down the response compared to the neutral face condition in invalid trials. In another respect, angry face as the cue was found to decrease the IOR effect in longer SOA. But there were still inconsistent results among different studies. In the present study, SOA between the face cue and the target was manipulated (150, 300, 500, 1000 ms) within participants to reveal the time course of the cuing effect. Three kinds of schematic faces (angry, happy and neutral faces) were included as the exogenous cue. The face cue was presented for 100 ms. Then the target was presented in the cued region (valid trials) or uncued region (invalid trials) after appropriate delay depending on the SOA conditions. The ratio of valid/invalid trials is 50/50. Participants' task was to discriminate the shape of the target (circle or square) and respond by key-pressing accordingly. The results showed that SOA curves were rather similar among three face cues with validity effect in shorter SOA (150, 300 ms) but not in long SOA (1000 ms). IOR effect has not been found in this study. On the other hand, angry face condition also showed validity effect at SOA = 500 ms, but not in happy and neutral face conditions. In addition, for the invalid condition, SOA curve of the angry face cue has shortest reaction time at 300 ms, while other face cues has shortest reaction time at 500 ms. Therefore, angry face cue has a different time course from other face cues. In conclusion, although the cuing effect of the neutral and emotional faces may be similar in most of the time windows, there is difference among them in the critical time window.
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