September 2015
Volume 15, Issue 12
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2015
Influence of Negative Emotion over Attention Allocation in Multiple Objects Tracking
Author Affiliations
  • Huanyu Lei
    School of Psychology, Beijing Normal University
  • Dongyuan Duan
    School of Psychology, Beijing Normal University College of Urban and Environmental Science, Northwest University
  • Xuemin Zhang
    School of Psychology, Beijing Normal University National Key Lab of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning & IDG/McGovern Institute for Brain Research
  • Xiaoqian Yan
    School of Psychology, Beijing Normal University Department of Psychology, University of York
Journal of Vision September 2015, Vol.15, 461. doi:
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      Huanyu Lei, Dongyuan Duan, Xuemin Zhang, Xiaoqian Yan; Influence of Negative Emotion over Attention Allocation in Multiple Objects Tracking. Journal of Vision 2015;15(12):461.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Our visual system processes massive information in the everyday life, and most of the information is dynamic instead of static. A large amount of studies have been done to explore the underlying cognitive and neural mechanism behind this process. Studies have shown that the limitation on tracking mainly depends on allocation efficiency of attentional resources. The number of targets and the maximum speed that could be tracked are both inversely related to the resource demands for each tracking object. In present study, we used electrophysiological (Event-Related Potentials, ERP) measures to further investigate effect of negative emotions on tracking performance in twenty participants. Since studies suggested that negative emotions like anxiety and depression could engage more cognitive resources than positive emotions, we expected that negative emotions, compared to neutral ones, would have negative effect on attention allocation during tracking. Our behavioral results showed that the difference of tracking accuracy between negative emotion condition and neutral condition was not notable. Our ERP results showed that: 1) Probes on target position elicited stronger N2 (200~300ms) than did probes on space position (baseline condition) during neutral emotion induction condition, indicating target enhancement.2) N2 amplitude elicited at target condition decreased significantly in negative emotion condition than that in neutral, which was due to more attentional resource engaged under negative emotion.3) Probes on distractor condition elicited weaker P3(200~300ms) than target position, similar to space position. This might suggested weak distractor suppression mechanism. The present study indicated that negative emotions could affect attentional resource allocation during MOT task. The relevant region was located in the right prefrontal cortex, which was responsible for both negative emotion processing and attention control.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2015


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